Like Countable?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 4911

Should a Joint Commission Suggest Changes to Congress’s Budgeting Process?

Argument in favor

Congress has only met all of its benchmarks for passing spending bills four times since 1977. Clearly the budget process is broken, and a joint commission would give it a worthwhile bipartisan makeover.

Sheryl's Opinion
···
02/04/2018
You know why congressional leaders are leaving in droves? Because they have no power. It has become Party over people. It’s almost like joining the mafia. You can only do the boss-man’s dirty business now a days. It’s all about fund-raising. Our government is broken.
Like (43)
Follow
Share
Jack's Opinion
···
02/03/2018
They should lose their pay until they have a budget and they need to stay in session until they come up with a budget! Not a temporary solution.
Like (25)
Follow
Share
Charles 's Opinion
···
02/03/2018
Congress needs to get their stuff together and stop worrying just about themselves. They are in that position because of the American people so take care of the people who put you there.
Like (12)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

Creating a joint commission to reform Congress’s budgeting process that is composed primarily of members of Congress may prevent them from reaching a consensus on how to fix the budget process.

IllWill's Opinion
···
02/03/2018
If we really want to reform the budget process, then this commission should be completely independent of Congress and the executive branch instead of having them on the commission. It should just be economists and people from educational institutions. Don’t put people on the commission that are responsible for this mess and are only in government to serve themselves.
Like (132)
Follow
Share
jweland's Opinion
···
02/03/2018
A commission to look at how to improve the congressional budget process is a good idea, but not led by members of Congress. I would rather see an independent, non-partisan commission to study the problems, explore possible solutions and the impact of those solutions.
Like (54)
Follow
Share
DrRichSwier's Opinion
···
02/03/2018
The U.S. Constitution sets out the role of Congress to pass a budget on time. If they need a commission to tell them what the Constitution requires then they should all be fired in November 2018.
Like (31)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 4911?

This bill would establish an independent commission known as the Joint Commission on Budget Process Reform to study, assess, and make recommendations to improve the federal budgeting process. It would hold at least four public hearings examining potential budget process reforms, seek recommendations from economists, lawmakers, federal agencies, state legislatures, educational institutions, and private organizations. It would also provide Congress with a report examining several issues described below, and draft a bill to reform the budget process.

The report would examine the following issues:

  • Potential changes and enforcement tools to ensure the on-time completion of the congressional budget process.

  • Procedures to address mandatory spending levels.

  • The impact of instituting long-term debt limits.

  • Procedures to increase inclusiveness and transparency in the congressional budget process.

  • The feasibility of a balanced budget amendment.

  • The impact of a binding congressional budget.

  • The need to reauthorize the Congressional Budget Office in an effort to provide greater assistance to the House and Senate Budget Committees.

  • The feasibility of changing the fiscal year from October 1st to January 1st so it aligns with the calendar year.

  • Examining whether or not there should be term limits for members to serve on the House and Senate budget committees.

  • The efficiency of annual (one year) budgeting in comparison to biennial (two year) budgeting.

The commission would be composed of 23 members, including the chair and ranking members of the Budget, Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Finance Committees; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of the Treasury; the Comptroller General; and eight members of Congress chosen by leadership that are evenly divided by chamber and party. Nominees would be appointed within 30 days and serve for the duration of the commission, which would hold its first meeting within 30 days of the bill’s enactment.

The bill to reform the budget process would be introduced jointly in both the House and Senate, committees would have 15 calendar days to consider it, and could be brought to the floor for debate and a vote on an expedited basis. The commission would terminate when the bill is signed into law by the president or two years after this legislation is enactment, whichever occurs first.

Impact

The congressional budget process; members of the commission; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4911

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthThis legislation was introduced by Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) introduced this bill to create a joint commission that examines the congressional budgeting process and recommends changes to fix shortcomings in the process.

Prior to 1974, Congress didn’t have a formal budgeting process, which led to the enactment of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, which created a detailed timeline for Congress and the executive branch to follow in creating a budget and enacting spending bills. Since 1977, however, Congress has only met its deadlines on four occasions — FY 1977, FY 1989, FY 1995, and FY 1997.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: RiverNorthPhotography / iStock)

AKA

Joint Commission on Budget Process Reform Act of 2018

Official Title

To establish a Joint Commission on Budget Process Reform.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Budget
      Committee on Rules
    IntroducedJanuary 30th, 2018
    You know why congressional leaders are leaving in droves? Because they have no power. It has become Party over people. It’s almost like joining the mafia. You can only do the boss-man’s dirty business now a days. It’s all about fund-raising. Our government is broken.
    Like (43)
    Follow
    Share
    If we really want to reform the budget process, then this commission should be completely independent of Congress and the executive branch instead of having them on the commission. It should just be economists and people from educational institutions. Don’t put people on the commission that are responsible for this mess and are only in government to serve themselves.
    Like (132)
    Follow
    Share
    A commission to look at how to improve the congressional budget process is a good idea, but not led by members of Congress. I would rather see an independent, non-partisan commission to study the problems, explore possible solutions and the impact of those solutions.
    Like (54)
    Follow
    Share
    The U.S. Constitution sets out the role of Congress to pass a budget on time. If they need a commission to tell them what the Constitution requires then they should all be fired in November 2018.
    Like (31)
    Follow
    Share
    They should lose their pay until they have a budget and they need to stay in session until they come up with a budget! Not a temporary solution.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    There doesn’t need to be another commission to study congressional budgets. Especially with this administration, since they can’t do anything together and Republicans have the majority to squash the common sense of Democrats and democracy.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Are you kidding? Making it tougher to do your jobs? We live on a budget. They're a pain in the behind to figure out, implement, adjust as necessary... But, we do it because we're responsible adults. #PassABudget
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    Congress needs to get their stuff together and stop worrying just about themselves. They are in that position because of the American people so take care of the people who put you there.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Now is not the time for another commission. Congress already knows this; just refuses to independently work on making a smart budget. There’s too much donor influence in politics. Citizens United needs to go. Congress needs a pay raise, and it needs firing for making personal wealth from their position. Return ethics & integrity to elected government service
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Members of congress can’t get the job done, how will a commission made up of members of congress do it? The members of congress need education about how to create a budget and they need counseling on how to work together in a fair, nonpartisan way; so I think the commission should be made up of professionals from outside congress who are able to provide mandatory training and counseling in order to teach them the skills needed to be successful at their job.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    I do not want my tax dollars used to pay an 'independent commission' to help Congress figure out how to do its job. Members of Congress have three important tasks as defined in the Constitution: fund the government; provide oversight for the executive branch; uphold and protect the Constitution. As a group, you have already outsourced the second task to the American people and now you want to outsource the first? If you can't fund the government through an actual BUDGET and won't provide oversight to an out of control, corrupt administration, why should we pay you to perform the third - which you are dangerously close to failing also. If you can't figure out how to do this without an independent commission, maybe we should just elect an independent commission to serve in Congress. It would be cheaper and more effective.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Republican suggestion, and a PA republican at that, oh hell no. Until the GOP starts taking a closer look at their behavior, my vote is NO!
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    No, maybe they should just do their job.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Balancing the budget for us as a nation is not so essential. But it would be nice 👍 if congress did really work on a budget and prove to all America that they are trying and show really how their priorities lie.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    No they would just load the commission with more wackos and make things even worst. Congress needs to do their job not abdicate to some unelected commission.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    No more bureaucracy. Fix what’s there. They can’t seem to manage what they already have.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    The membership of the commission is slanted in favor of the GOP, which has demonstrated their ineptitude at budgeting via their inability to pass a budget even though they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Furthermore, they have demonstrated reckless financial disregard by passing exorbitant tax cuts that are already worsening the the US deficit. And finally, despite the importance of the budget to ALL Americans and residents of the US, something that demands transparency and public due process, etc., the GOP (both the White House and Congressional leaders) have demonstrated a contempt for such transparency and public processes in passage of the recent tax legislation (crafted in secret by the GOP without and public hearings) and their attempts to repeal the ACA (also crafted in secret by the GOP without any public hearings). For this to work, the Commission would need to be strictly bipartisan and should not include members of the current administration or Congress.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Sheryl nailed this one. I agree. Individual members of Congress no longer enjoy the “How should I put it” ability to Free think and ability to make respected individual decisions that affect their home base. It’s very hard to bring home the bacon. Everything that is said and done must be based on party lines and if one sways it is frowned upon! It’s hard for congressional members to get something for their home districts! You have to have money and power! That’s what it’s about in both parties! Sad to say but true! You can bet that stronger figures that are from more populated areas where their constituents are heavily involved in politics and well organized can get things done more so than say a congress member from a more rural and less funded district. But as for voting and decision making the more moderate members on both sides tend to be left out in the cold at the end of the day! There is little room for wheeling and dealing on either side! I could be wrong though! I have a good Congressman that has a lot of backing here at home and I’m pretty sure his funding from his constituency is pretty strong!
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    It's their damn Constitutional duty to pass an ANNUAL budget. CRs are unconstitutional. If they cannot pass a budget, they should not get a salary. If it takes shutdowns fine! If it takes a compromise of cutting a to cut b, so be it.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    While I agree that there is a need for a set of guidelines and rules 15 days seems like a short period of time for public comment and debate. I would also like to be guaranteed in writing that more input than just from Wall Street bankers would be heard. Before agreeing to something like this I would like the opinions of Robert Reich and people like him. I also believe something this important, that has an impact on every single working person in the US, should be on the ballot.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE