Dreier Says New Push For Two-Year Federal Budgeting is Building Steam

Dreier Says New Push For Two-Year Federal Budgeting is Building Steam

Rules Committee to Hold Hearings to Ready Common Sense Reform Bill for House

WASHINGTON - Saying the "stars are beginning to align this year behind bipartisan, bicameral enactment of biennial budgeting," House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) joined other House and Senate Members at a press conference today to announce that, as part of a new push to move to a two year federal budget and improve the management and cost effectiveness of federal programs, the Rules Committee would be holding hearings in the coming weeks to prepare for floor action.

"Biennial budgeting has very broad support in both parties because it makes sense. Two-year federal budgeting will save tremendous resources and energy that are needlessly expended every year, all while improving the planning, management and delivery of federal programs and services to the American people," said Dreier, the co-chairman of the1993 Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress, which recommended biennial budgeting as a key reform. "It is a landmark institutional reform that future generations will thank us for."

"Just look at today's story in the Washington Post about how the Centers for Disease Control purposely misspent funds targeted for specific life and death disease research, thereby endangering lives," Dreier said. "Now, biennial budgeting won't make the government run perfectly, but it will give us a much better chance to make sure that the taxpayer funded programs are actually doing what they are supposed to do."

While no floor timetable has been definitively determined, Dreier expressed his strong belief that with such momentum building, the House would be able to pass the legislation. A Dreier resolution in late November that supports the goals of biennial budgeting garnered over 240 cosponsors in both parties, including the Republican Leadership and Appropriations Chairman Bill Young (R-FL). As a sign of the growing momentum for biennial budgeting, Dreier pointed to remarks by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS) at a Chamber of Commerce speech yesterday morning, who said. "I am very much for biennial budgeting. This year I think we're actually going to get it done."

Speaking with Dreier were Sen. Budget Chairman Senator Domenici (R-NM), Senate Gov. Affairs Chairman Thompson (R-TN), Gov. Affairs Ranking Member Sen. Lieberman (D-CT), Rep.'s Bass (R-NH), and Luther (D-MN). A number of biennial budgeting bills have been introduced in both the Senate and House which:

  • devote the first session of any Congress to the budget resolution and to regular appropriations decisions.
  • keep the second session free of regular budget and appropriations decisions so as to devote more time and resources to authorization and programmatic oversight activities.
  • do not alter the historic and constitutional checks and balances between the branches.

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