Ryan throws weight behind two-year spending reform

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

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash storm hits Capitol Hill Debate with Donald Trump? Just say no Ex-Trump adviser says GOP needs a better health-care message for 2020 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 EnziKudos to the legislators trying to fix our broken budget On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won't release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo Budget chairs pick former Bush official to head CBO 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 PelosiPelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Hillary Clinton slams Trump for spreading 'sexist trash' about Pelosi Hillicon Valley: Facebook won't remove doctored Pelosi video | Trump denies knowledge of fake Pelosi videos | Controversy over new Assange charges | House Democrats seek bipartisan group on net neutrality 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.