Chairman Enzi: Two-Year Budgets Will Make Spending Process More Transparent

WASHINGTON D.C. – During a second Senate Budget Committee hearing on fixing America’s broken budget process, Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) today said that moving the nation to a biennial budget would create more stability and predictability for agencies as well as state and local governments. Most importantly, he said, it will increase the transparency of the federal spending process and help make government more accountable.

“The worst kept secret in Washington is that we essentially operate on a two-year budget already,” said Chairman Enzi.  “In 2011, 2013, and now 2015, Congress has set spending limits for the following two fiscal years.  But these deals have been negotiated without the transparency and predictability that regular order provides.  True reform of the federal budget process would formalize biennial budgeting and move spending decisions from the shadows and into the light, where they belong.”

Enzi noted that a biennial budget process could improve Congress’ management and oversight of federal spending.  If less legislative time were devoted to setting budget targets for the next year, more time could be spent on reviewing program management.  Under an annual cycle, authorizing and appropriating committees only have time to assess how much money is needed in relation to the previous year, rather than conducting a systematic review of federal programs in their jurisdiction.  Oversight under a biennial budget would help make government more accountable by allowing additional time to consider whether taxpayer dollars are being spent effectively.

“Congress’ energy and attention should be redirected to reviewing all federal spending,” Chairman Enzi said.  “By moving to a two-year budget cycle, lawmakers will have more time to focus on the true drivers of spending and debt, which will help make our government more accountable and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.”

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