FRANKFORT, KY (1/25/12) – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today appeared before the House Rules Committee in support of legislation to reform the congressional budget process. The bill Whitfield supported, H.R. 114, the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, would establish a two-year timetable during which Congress would approve a federal budget, review authorizations for existing or proposed programs, and set spending levels for those programs.
According to Whitfield’s Chief of Staff, John Sparkman, Congress attempts to do all of those things in a single year, but rarely succeeds; leading to situations where no budget is passed and appropriations bills often end up rolled into a large yearend bill that receives inadequate scrutiny and a short timetable for consideration. Whitfield noted that “during the 38 year history of the Budget Act, Congress has met the deadline for completion of a budget resolution only six times,” observing that presently “Congress has gone for over 1000 days without a federal budget.”
Meanwhile, Whitfield continued, in Fiscal Year 2010 “Congress provided $290.8 billion for 250 statutes whose authorizations had expired.” A biennial budget cycle, he said, “will result in better scrutiny of federal spending and the elimination of wasteful and duplicative government programs because in one year the House can focus on making the programs better or eliminating them, and in the next year the House can focus on the spending levels for those programs.”
Information provided by John Sparkman
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