Congressman Leonard Lance today said the reforms passed during the opening days of the 112th Congress shows that the new congressional majority is serious about bringing fiscal sanity to Washington.
"With the ushering in of the new 112th Congress comes a new set of rules that are a strong first-step toward making it easier for Congress to reduce spending, lower our debt and bring fiscal responsibility to Washington," Lance said. "These reforms will also bring greater transparency and accountability to House proceedings making members of Congress more accountable to those who elected them."
Among the new reforms supported by Rep. Lance and passed by Congress:
* Cut-as-you-go: Replaces pay-as-you-go rule. Requires new mandatory spending to be offset with cuts to existing programs.
* Spending cut "lockbox": Applies to floor amendments that make cuts to appropriations bills. Cuts will go to a special account in effort to make it easier to reduce overall size of spending bills.
* Fiscal 2011 spending cap: Requires the House Budget Committee Chairman to establish budget enforcement mechanism for remainder of fiscal 2011.
* Debt limit: Eliminates "Gephardt rule" that allowed the House to pass a debt ceiling increase upon adoption by both chambers of a concurrent budget resolution.
* Legislation: Requires bills to be posted online for three calendar days before final floor consideration.
* Committees: Requires committees to post their rules online; provide three-day notice for markups; webcast all hearings and markups; post roll call votes within 48 hours and text of adopted amendments within 24 hours after markup.
* Honoring the Constitution: Requires that sponsors of all legislation submit a statement in the Congressional Record explaining the bill's constitutional basis
And today the House voted to reduce the operating budgets of committees, leadership offices, and individual lawmakers' offices by five percent. This spending cut will save taxpayers $35 million in the first year alone.
"The House rules reforms coupled with today's action to trim congressional office budget spending makes it clearly evident to me that the new 112th congressional majority is serious about cutting federal spending, reducing the deficit and restoring public confidence in the way the Congress does its business," Lance concluded.