U.S. Senators David Perdue (R-GA), James Lankford (R-OK), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) are proposing bold changes to the funding process to ensure Congress does its job and fully funds the federal government on time. The Senators are introducing amendments to create specific milestones for passing a budget and appropriations bills that would keep Congress on track. The proposals will be considered in the bicameral, bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.
“In the real world, you are held accountable to make tough decisions and complete the job,” said Senator Perdue, member of the Senate Budget Committee. “Unfortunately, Washington is locked in a cycle of continuing resolutions and last-minute spending deals. This is totally irresponsible. To be successful, this Joint Select Committee must create a politically neutral platform with specific milestones for completing funding and impose severe consequences if Members of Congress don’t get the job done. We won’t fix this broken funding process or the national debt crisis if Congress refuses to hold itself accountable for failure.”
“Congress should face consequences if we cannot act in time to pass a budget and fund the government,” said Senator Lankford, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This past summer, the Senate did not take the annual August state work period because the work in Washington was unfinished. This year, only five of the 12 individual appropriations bills were signed into law by the September 30 deadline, leaving seven still remaining for Congress to address. Congress has not been able to pass all 12 appropriations bills since 1995. This amendment should be included in the final text of the bill passed by the Joint Committee.”
“The most essential role Congress has is to raise revenue and fund the federal government,” said Senator Ernst. “Yet, since 1974, Congress has passed all of its appropriations bills just four times. And, in the past 20 years, we have only passed a budget resolution 11 times! Congress can do better; we owe it to the American people to complete our work on time. If we fail to meet our deadlines, we should stay at work until we get the job done.”
The Joint Select Committee was established by Congress on February 9, 2018 and is composed of 16 Members of Congress: four Senate Republicans – including Senators Perdue, Lankford, and Ernst – four Senate Democrats, four House Republicans, and four House Democrats. The members have until the ending of the calendar year to agree on changes to the budget and appropriations process and present them to Congress for a full vote.