Rules Approves Budget Process Reform Bill

Rules Approves Budget Process Reform Bill

Bipartisan Bill Gains Momentum, Dreier Says

WASHINGTON - As the Rules Committee today advanced H.R. 853, the bipartisan budget process reform bill, Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee, said that he is pleased the bill is gaining momentum and he anticipates Congress will act soon on the legislation. Dreier said he intends to continue working with all Members of the House to address any outstanding concerns they may have.

"This is a comprehensive bill designed to increase the efficiency, accountability and enforcement aspects of the budget process," said Dreier. "Clearly, these reforms will force the President and Congress to face reality and set aside a disaster reserve fund in the budget. As a Californian, I understand that natural disasters are a fact of life - whether it's hurricanes in Florida, ice storms in New York, floods in Iowa, or earthquakes in my home state - we know that there will be some impact on the budget each year."

"I know that some of my colleagues have come concerns, and I will work with them to see that they are addressed," Dreier said. "I want to thank Congressman Porter Goss whose leadership in uniting the Rules and Budget Committees behind this common-sense reform plan has brought us to this point."

"It is obvious not only to those involved with our budget process on a daily basis, but also to the American people, that our system is broken," said Congressman Goss (R-FL), the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. "We will continue to work with members to achieve a common sense solution to this ongoing problem. The fact that so many members are focusing on the pitfalls of our current budget process only demonstrates that our efforts have already been successful."

"H.R. 853 is a major budget reform bill. Elements of the measure-such as the emergency spending reforms, the changes in the budgetary treatment of federal insurance, and the new requirements for legislative review and program evaluation- could take positive steps toward addressing certain problems," said Dan Crippen, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, at a hearing in May.

H.R. 853, the "Comprehensive Budget Process Reform Act of 1999," is the product of two years of work between Members of the Rules and Budget Committees and also represents the first time in almost a decade that the two committees of jurisdiction in the House have come together in a bipartisan manner to construct a comprehensive budget process reform package. At the Committee's hearings on Wednesday, May 12th and Thursday, May 13th the Committee heard testimony from the General Accounting Office, the Concord Coalition, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other noted witnesses.