Congressman Dennis A. Ross, Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and Labor Policy, today introduced the Zero Based Budget Act as his
first piece of legislation during the 112th Congress.
Zero based budgeting is defined as, "A method of budgeting in which all expenses must be justified for each new period. Zero-based budgeting starts from a "zero base" and every function within an organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. Budgets are then built around what is needed for the upcoming period, regardless of whether the budget is higher or lower than the previous one."
Upon introduction of the bill, Congressman Ross said, "For far too long, programs, agencies, and entire departments operated on funding auto-pilot. Regardless of how poorly performing, unnecessary, or unconstitutional, federal agencies continue to be funded year after year, to the detriment of the taxpayer. Demanding justification, as well as funding options, for every dollar spent is the least we should expect from a government that utilizes over $3 trillion -- with a "t" -- of hard earned taxpayer dollars every year. Ross went on to say, "This legislation is bipartisan in that every agency and department, from those most favored by liberals to those most favored by conservatives, will be forced to justify their existence."
Congressman Ross' Zero Based Budget Act lays out the following requirements for every budget cycle:
A description for each activity for which a department or agency receives an appropriation
A legal basis for the program or activity
Three alternative funding levels for the budget year. Two out of the three alternative funding levels must be less than the previous budget year
For each activity, a summary of its cost effectiveness and efficiency to the taxpayer
Dennis Ross, son of Bill and Loyola Ross, was born in 1959 and raised in Lakeland, Florida. He graduated from Auburn University and the Cumberland School of Law at Sanford University. He has served as in-house counsel to the Walt Disney Company and as an associate of the law firm of Holland & Knight. He previously served in the Florida Legislature from 2000 until being term limited in 2008. Dennis and his wife, Cindy Hartley, were married in 1983 and have two sons, Shane and Travis.
In the 112th Congress, Dennis will serve on the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (Chairman of the Federal Workforce, Postal Service & Labor Policy Subcommittee) as well as the Education & the Workforce and Judiciary Committees.