Proponents see opening to abandon yearly budget process

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The Budget Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday on budget process reform ideas.

In the House, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said he will devote this fall to crafting a reform package. Last week he held two hearings on the topic.

In the past, critics of biennial budgeting have said it reduces the ability of Congress to respond quickly to new spending needs and diminishes the power of a new president to influence the shape of the budget. Under the Senate bill, the president would be required to submit a two-year budget quickly upon assuming office — a fact that might limit his or her ability to advance detailed proposals in the crucial first years in office.

The Obama administration does not have a formal position on two-year budgeting, budget office spokeswoman Meg O’Reilly said Tuesday.

It does favor another idea with bipartisan support that would give the president the ability to propose rescinding appropriated funds quickly after a spending bill is enacted and to have the rescission bill given expedited treatment in Congress.