Ryan throws weight behind two-year spending reform

Ryan throws weight behind two-year spending reform
© Anna Moneymaker

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanFormer Dem candidate says he faced cultural barriers on the campaign trail because he is working-class Former House candidate and ex-ironworker says there is 'buyer's remorse' for Trump in Midwest Head of top hedge fund association to step down MORE (R-Wis.) is throwing his weight behind a proposal to halve the number of spending bills Congress considers each year, and lengthen their scope to two years.

“I think biennial budgeting is the smartest way to go,” Ryan told the Joint Select Committee on Budget Reform, a bipartisan, bicameral committee tasked with proposing changes to the current budgeting process, on Wednesday.

“I think it’s not too much to ask, with the way the Senate works, to do six this year, six next year,” he added.

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The proposal, also championed by Senate Budget Chairman Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Progressives seek defense freeze in budget talks Five takeaways from Trump's budget MORE (R-Wy.), would have Congress consider half of the 12 appropriations bills in the first year of a congressional term, and the other half in the second year. Each bill would cover two years, providing more certainty to the agencies while freeing Congress up to focus on appropriating over a longer timeline.

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE (D-Calif.) agreed that part of the process should span two years, but disagreed on the details.

“I do believe two years for the budget, one year for the appropriations legislation is the way to go,” she said, an approach that would outline spending limits for 24 months, but still require all 12 appropriations bills to pass on an annual basis.

Pelosi said that pay-as-you-go rules should also be strictly enforced and that budgets should only include policy assumptions they require through reconciliation, a change that would make the budget less of a political messaging document.

The joint select committee has until year’s end to propose recommendations to a budgetary process that is widely seen as dysfunctional, often resulting in late passage of spending bills, the use of restrictive budgetary extensions and occasional government shutdowns.