Congress Should Move Forward on Budget Process Reform

Aug 7, 2019 | Budget Process

For Immediate Release

Last week, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a series of discussion drafts with proposals to reform the federal budget process. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

So far, this year has featured the longest government shutdown in history and a massive unpaid-for spending increase but no budget resolution passed by either chamber. If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now – the federal budget process is broken.

Chairman Enzi deserves great praise for his work to stem this cycle of dysfunction through concrete proposals that would better align our budget process with the country’s needs and priorities.

While process changes alone cannot resolve tough political disagreements, we can create a smarter framework for decision making. We are pleased to see so many thoughtful proposals to improve the current system, including a number of ideas put forward as part of our Better Budget Process Initiative.

Chairman Enzi’s budget process reform discussion draft is just that – a draft for discussion. As we once again head into a new fiscal year without a budget, Members of Congress should give these proposals serious consideration and offer constructive feedback. Other proposals, including many developed by the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, should also be on the table.

Ultimately, it is time to come together and actually start fixing the budget process. We need a process that improves accountability and transparency, ends budgeting by crisis, strengthens focus on the long term, and results in sustainable fiscal outcomes. Chairman Enzi’s draft is a strong starting point for that discussion.

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For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at tomchik@crfb.org.