Washington, D.C.– The following is a statement from Bipartisan Policy Center Senior Vice President G. William Hoagland on the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform to advance their recommendations this morning:
“We are disappointed this committee failed to approve recommendations and send them to the full Congress. The committee’s final package was modest, but nonetheless contained some laudable reforms. In particular, the committee’s proposals to authorize budget resolutions biennially, create a bipartisan budget pathway in the Senate, and hold an annual hearing on the fiscal state of the nation, would have been positive first steps toward more significant reforms.
“This package deserved and still deserves consideration from congressional leaders and the full House and Senate. If they do nothing else, leadership should authorize the committee to continue its work in the next Congress, otherwise the diligent, bipartisan work undertaken by members of this committee will have been for naught.
“Lawmakers don’t need to be reminded that the issues this committee was created to address will not go away. The debt limit, continuing resolutions, and government shutdowns will continue to haunt us year after year if left unaddressed. There is bipartisan consensus that changes are required for the sake of the nation’s future financial security, but clearly more work is needed to develop consensus around a specific set of reforms.
“Despite my disappointment, I would be remiss to overlook the efforts of members of this committee on both sides of the aisle. Senators Bennet, Lankford, Perdue, and Whitehouse, as well as Representatives Arrington and Kilmer worked to develop new ideas and proposals to deal with some of the bigger issues that congressional leaders must tackle. Those proposals could serve as a constructive basis for discussion down the road.
“The Bipartisan Policy Center applauds the leadership of co-chairs Womack and Lowey and the committee members in participating in a truly bipartisan, consensus-driven process. But we cannot laud the committee’s failure to issue the recommendations.
“Failure is not an option. This work must continue in the new Congress.”