November 01, 2019

Crapo Joins Bipartisan Group to Promote Reforms for Broken Budget Process

Encourages bipartisan collaboration in tackling growing debt and deficits

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, joined Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming) and a bipartisan group of other Senators in introducing legislation that would fix the federal government’s broken budget process.  The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act, S. 2765, would provide a more orderly, deliberative budget process focused on long-term fiscal planning.  It encourages bipartisan collaboration in tackling the nation’s growing debt and deficit. 

“Our country is on an unsustainable spending path,” said Crapo, who recommended budget reforms as an original member of the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  “This bipartisan legislation will reform our broken budget process by outlining a more deliberative, transparent process for managing our nation’s finances.  Added accountability in the congressional budget process would be a much-needed step in the right direction to help Congress adequately balance our budget.  Chairman Enzi has been a great leader on this front, and I look forward to working with him further on this issue.” 

The Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act would: 

  • Move the budget resolution to a two-year cycle, while maintaining annual appropriations.
  • Require more involvement from Senate spending and taxing committees, including by requiring detailed spending and revenue plans to better inform budget development.
  • Focus on fiscal sustainability by requiring the budget resolution to establish a debt-to-GDP target backed by a deficit-reducing special reconciliation process to promote adherence to the budget plan.
  • Create a mechanism within the regular budget process to end the brinksmanship surrounding the statutory debt limit by conforming the limit to levels called for in the budget resolution. 
  • Establish an optional new bipartisan budget pathway through which the budget would set a glideslope of deficit reduction that includes health care, revenue levels, and appropriations, and tax expenditures.  Such bipartisan budgets would require the support of at least 60 senators, including at least 15 members of the minority party, and would be considered in the Senate under expedited procedures jointly agreed to by the Majority and Minority Leaders.
  • Provide a more orderly, deliberative process for Senate consideration of budget resolutions that preserves the ability of Senators on both sides of the aisle to offer amendments.
  • Enhance fiscal transparency by requiring that up-to-date tabulations of congressional budget action be publicly posted and that information on the interest effects of authorizing and revenue legislation be included in cost estimates prepared by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  The legislation also supports transparency efforts underway at CBO.
  • Require CBO and the Government Accountability Office to regularly review and report to Congress on portfolios of federal spending to help lawmakers make more informed budgetary decisions. 

Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi and Committee member Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) introduced the legislation on Thursday, October 31.  Senator Crapo and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Angus King (I-Maine), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), David Perdue (R-Georgia), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana) are original co-sponsors. 

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