U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson today announced his intention to file groundbreaking new legislation to create a more efficient and reliable Congressional budgeting process.
The bill will establish a two-year federal budget cycle, introducing a more reliable and efficient system that helps depoliticize planning for the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
"This concept enjoys bipartisan support already," Rep. Johnson said. "I don't think there is anyone in Congress who would assert that our budget and appropriation process doesn't need changing.
"The idea is really pretty simple. Instead of planning with our backs to the wall every year, passing continuing resolutions and kicking the ball down the road, we can make time to scrutinize, prioritize and hold our agencies and departments accountable for the money they've been appropriated on behalf of the American people."
Rep. Johnson's bill would establish a two-year budgeting and appropriations cycle beginning Oct. 1 of each odd-numbered year. Any budget or appropriations bill passed by one chamber has to be voted on in the other chamber within a specified time period. No holds, filibusters or motions to recommit would be allowed.
"Since 1954, Congress has had to enact last-ditch continuing resolutions to keep the government from shutting its doors in all but three years -- 1989, 1995 and 1997," Rep. Johnson said. "That says something about the efficiency of the process.
"We take trillions of dollars out of the pockets of our citizens and spend it irresponsibly," Rep. Johnson said. "I have voted against budget resolutions, continuing resolutions and accompanying debt ceiling increases since at least 2005 for several reasons, not the least of which is that this decision-making process simply lacks controls necessary to assure that the people's money is being spent with a modicum of responsibility and accountability. This bill is a major step needed to start achieving those goals, and one of many steps toward depoliticizing this process."