U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today called on his Democratic colleagues to stop reckless spending and pass a budget. He also reiterated his call for Congress to reform its appropriations process by switching from the current, broken annual system to a two-year system that would force lawmakers to conduct oversight on federal spending.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Isakson noted that it has been three years since the Democrat-controlled Senate has passed a budget resolution, and he said his Georgia constituents voiced dismay over this failure during Isakson's telephone town hall meeting on Monday evening.
"Many of my constituents asked me, "How can you operate without a budget?' My answer is that no budget equals no discipline, and the result has been reckless federal spending and a $15 trillion national debt," said Isakson. "The federal government should ask of itself only what it forces upon all of its people. It is time that we stop redundant, wasteful spending and start prioritizing our expenditures and conducting oversight. When we do this, America will be better off, we will reduce our debt and we will return to days of greater prosperity and absolute accountability."
Isakson also urged his Senate colleagues to support, S. 211, the Biennial Budget Appropriations Act, which he introduced with Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., last year that would reform the current broken process by switching Congress from an annual spending process to a two-year cycle, with one year for appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted to oversight of federal programs. Currently, 20 states operate under a biennial budget system.
"Right now, we go back to appropriate year after year but never look at justifying what we spent the year before. I say to the people of Georgia and the people of America: I expect of myself and our government at least what is mandated upon you. It is time for Washington to be accountable for its spending--that means appropriating tax dollars in a balanced and disciplined way and never going a thousand days without operating under a budget."
Specifically, S.211 would convert the federal budget process from an annual, chaotic spending event to a two-year, more thoughtful process that would require Congress to conduct oversight. It would mandate that the first year of a Congress be dedicated to appropriating federal dollars while the second year is devoted to scrutinizing federal programs to determine if they are working and deserve to continue to be funded. This budget reform would force Congress to become better stewards of the taxpayers' money, thereby reducing reckless and wasteful spending.