Every year, Congress is supposed to pass 12 appropriation bills to fund all the various departments and agencies of the federal government, but the last year it was done on time? 1994.
Only one appropriations bill has been enacted in time during the past 5 years, and Congress has failed to pass a budget 6 times in the last 10 years. There is clear dissatisfaction with Washington, and people are looking for a solution. Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) suggests that the real solution has to do with the rules of the game, and he has proposed an outline for the ways that the broken budget process can be fixed.
In his proposal, Price asserts that there is not enough time to complete the budget process, suggesting changes like moving to a calendar-year cycle to give Congress additional time to complete appropriation bills and ways to crack down on unauthorized programs. Additionally, he proposes measures that better adhere to budget rules and ways to increase transparency in regard to the budget.
In order to ensure long-term fiscal stability, he suggests that reforms must be made to the debt limit, something the Institute has also studied, and emphasizes the need to establish targets to pay down the debt. He also proposes rules that reduce long-term spending and the establishment of a National Commission on Budget Concepts.
Getting any large-scale reform through Congress will be no easy task, but it is encouraging to see elected leaders taking up the cause of fundamental reforms that will address the problems instead of just their symptoms.
Read the full report here.