Senate Considers Fixes to America’s Broken Budget Process

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Budget Committee today released its April 28, 2016, Budget Bulletin focused on fixes to the broken budget process. The Budget Bulletin provides regular expert articles by Senate Budget Committee analysts on the issues before Congress relating to the budget, deficits, debt, and the economy.

Excerpts follow:

The Problem: Broken Budgets and Out-of-Control Spending

In theory, the annual budget process begins on the first Monday in February with submission of the president's budget. Congress must then adopt its own budget resolution and enact authorizing bills, reconciliation legislation, and annual appropriations legislation. The process should end with the enactment of 12 regular spending bills by October 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. But every stage of this decades-old process is fraught with delays, crisis negotiation, and dysfunction, exacerbating the problem of out-of-control government spending and debt.

Senate Budget Committee Hearings: Options for Fixing America's Broken Budget Process

In its series of process reform hearings, the Senate Budget Committee received testimony from a bipartisan group of government officials, budget experts, and economists. There was agreement on both sides of the aisle that the current process is broken and statutory change is necessary to fix it. Proposed solutions ranged from small, targeted fixes, to fundamental changes in the way Congress is organized and allocates resources. Following are reform proposals recommended during the Budget Committee hearings.

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