Rules Committee To Move Budget Process Reform Bill

Rules Committee To Move Budget Process Reform Bill

CBO's Crippen Calls Bill a "Positive Step"

WASHINGTON - Congressman David Dreier (R-CA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, announced that with the Committee finishing two days of original jurisdiction budget process reform hearings today, it will move quickly to approve reform legislation in the near future.

"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," testified Dan Crippen, Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

"This comprehensive bill increases efficiency, improves accountability and strengthens enforcement in the budget process," said Dreier. "Coming from California, let me highlight one example. We have learned that natural disasters are a fact of life - whether it's hurricanes in Florida, ice storms in New York, floods in Iowa, earthquakes in my home state, or the tornadoes that recently struck Oklahoma - we know that there will be some impact on the budget each year."

"These reforms require the President and the Congress to face reality and set aside a disaster reserve fund in the budget. We don't need to pit the victims of mother nature against those who desire sound, fiscal policies, and this is just one of the many sensible reforms in this bill," Dreier added.

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.

"Budget process reform has come this far because of the leadership of Porter Goss, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, who has united the two committees behind this common-sense reform plan," Dreier said.

The Committee's hearings were on Wednesday, May 12th and Thursday, May 13. Also testifying at the hearings were Representatives Nick Smith (R-PA), Joe Barton (R-TX), George Gekas (R-PA), Ralph Regula (R-OH), Mike Castle (R-DE), and John Spratt (D-SC). Additionally the Committee heard testimony from the General Accounting Office, the Concord Coalition, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other noted witnesses.