Friday, June 14th, 2019
U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, is proposing bold changes to fix Congress’s broken funding process. Over the past four years, he has met with policy experts, outside groups, retired Members of Congress, and his colleagues from both parties and chambers to study best practices and highlight the flaws of the current funding process. The Fix Funding First Act is the culmination of Senator Perdue’s efforts to change the way Washington works.
“Anyone can see that Washington’s funding process is totally dysfunctional. Enough excuses – it’s time to find a solution,” said Senator Perdue. “Since I first came to the United States Senate, many of us have consistently called for changing this broken funding process. The reality is Congress has only funded the government on time four times since the Budget Act of 1974 was signed into law, and the last time was in 1996—more than 20 years ago. On top of that, Congress has kicked the can down the road 186 times with continuing resolutions and allowed the government to shut down 21 times. That’s unacceptable, and it only creates grave uncertainty for our military.
“For the past four years, we have looked at best practices in states, other countries, and businesses. What is needed is a politically neutral platform that will fund the government on time every year, without the drama. To do that, I’m convinced that we need real consequences for Members of Congress if they don’t get the job done. In addition, we need to make structural changes in the process to support funding the government on time every year. Congress can and should do better for the American people, and this is a necessary first step to reining in our $22 trillion national debt. We will not solve the debt crisis unless and until we fix this funding crisis.”
The Fix Funding First Act will:
Change the Fiscal Year & End Vote-a-rama: Changes the federal government’s fiscal year to match the calendar year, giving Congress adequate time to complete the funding process, and eliminates spending bill delays.
Only Require Topline Spending Levels Every Two Years: The funding agreement will only require 302a allocations to set top line spending levels for the two year period.
Make the Funding Agreement a Law: The funding agreement will be a joint resolution signed by the President, giving it the force of law.
Create Consequences For Not Getting The Job Done: Sets new milestones before state work periods and imposes consequences, such as ‘No Funding, No Recess’ and ‘No Funding, No Pay.’
Repurpose the Budget Committee: The Senate Budget Committee will report out a 5-year bipartisan strategic plan every two years. This plan will include a target for the ratio of the public debt-to-GDP, federal revenue, discretionary spending, and mandatory spending.
Senator Perdue has made it one of his top priorities to fix Congress’s failed funding process. Four years ago, the Senator initiated a bipartisan, informal working group to investigate best practices in other countries, states, and companies. He has continued his work on the Senate Budget Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, where he offered these key priorities for changing Congress’s broken funding process. Last year, the Senator wrote a column in The Hill calling on Congress to recognize that the current funding process will never work and it must be changed.