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Congressional Reform Concepts: Budget Process

Congressional Reform Concepts
For Consideration By
A Joint Committee on the Congress of Tomorrow

The following recommendations are the result of conversations that have taken place among several groups and are intended to serve as a framework for short-term and long-term change.

Such a framework would be best achieved through the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral Joint Committee on a Modern Congress, patterned after those created during the last Century for a similar purpose.

BUDGET PROCESS

  • Establish a biennial macro-budget process that provides two-year binding levels of revenues and expenditures, containing budget projections for five years only. The budget resolution would also include, as a point of reference, projected spending levels for mandatory programs. The resolution would still require annual appropriations.
  • Change the fiscal year to the calendar year, with submission of the budget by March 15, and new deadlines for budget consideration.
  • Provide additional time for meeting reconciliation instructions.
  • Expedite procedures for House-Senate conference on budget resolutions, appointing conferees, instructing conferees and limitations on amendments in the Senate
  • Reassess the make-up of the budget committees with specific consideration to including greater representation of Ways and Means, Finance and Appropriation members, including the chairman of those committees.
  • Provide for the inclusion in the budget of long-term estimates for entitlement programs and consider including among reconciliation instructions, provisions to ensure the long-term viability of those programs.

For a full list of reform concepts, click here.

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