U.S. Representative Rob Woodall (R-GA-07) introduced budget reform legislation, H.R. 1871, the "Baseline Reform Act," on Wednesday. The so-called "baseline" is an automatic inflator of federal spending that occurs irrespective of national needs or priorities. Woodall's bill, introduced as part of the House Budget Committee's Budget Process Reform series, eliminates this assumption of automatic annual spending increases in the federal budget.
"Only in Washington can you get away with calling a spending increase a "cut.' At home with my constituents, a spending cut means that we reduce current spending. Under current baseline policy, a spending cut means that we simply slow the rate of spending increase. With our nation almost $17 trillion in debt, we need to have an honest national conversation about our spending priorities. We can't have that honest conversation when Washington calls a $5 spending increase a "cut" because the baseline assumed a $7 increase. America deserves a budget process in Washington that resembles the budget process around our kitchen tables, and H.R. 1871 takes an important step toward that goal," Woodall said.
House Budget Committee Chairman and the leader of the Budget Process Reform series, Representative Paul Ryan joined Woodall as an original cosponsor of H.R. 1871. Chairman Ryan said, "Families don't just assume they'll have more money to spend each year. Neither should Congress. We have to stop spending money we don't have. And Representative Woodall's bill will help do just that."
The Baseline Reform Act began with the reform efforts of Representative Woodall's colleague Representative Louie Gohmert (TX-1) and the "Zero-Baseline Budget Act." Rep. Gohmert first introduced his bill in the 109th Congress. Woodall introduced the Baseline Reform Act last Congress, when it passed the House by a vote of 235 to 177, but failed to reach the President's desk when the Congressional session ended before the Senate had an opportunity to consider it.