Hill Budget Committees Rev Up Reform Engines

Senate Budget Panel Hears From Two Former Chairs

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The House and Senate Budget committees are trying to rev up their budget reform engines this week, with a House hearing and a private Senate meeting on the matter.

These efforts are part of a broader bid to draft legislation this summer that would overhaul the congressional budget process.

The House Budget Committee is holding a hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET on budget process reforms, focusing on entitlement spending and funding for unauthorized programs. A panel of fiscal experts will testify, including former Comptroller General David Walker and Stuart Butler, a budget expert at the Brookings Institution.

Budget process reform should be a bipartisan effort, Price said. He has expressed an interest in biennial budgeting and caps to limit the growth of entitlement spending.

The Senate Budget Committee scheduled a private briefing Wednesday with two former chairs of the panel, Kent Conrad and Judd Gregg, to discuss budget process reforms. Conrad chaired the Senate Budget Committee from 2001 to 2002 and from 2007 to 2012. Gregg headed up the panel from 2005 to 2006.

Senate Budget Committee Chair Mike Enzi has held four hearings just this year on budget process reform and has indicated he wants to mark-up legislation before Congress's summer recess.

In the Senate Budget Committee's last monthly "Budget Bulletin," it outlines more than a dozen budget reform bills that have been introduced to overhaul the budget process.

The summary includes biennial budgeting legislation, a proposal to preclude government shutdowns, and a bill that requires any debt ceiling increase by the administration be accompanied by a plan to reduce spending by at least that amount.



By:  John Shaw
Source: MNI