Outgoing Senate Budget chair unveils plans to replace Budget Committee

Outgoing Senate Budget chair unveils plans to replace Budget Committee
© Greg Nash

Outgoing Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziWhat Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by AT&T - Biden celebrates monstrous jobs report MORE (R-Wy.), who is retiring when his term ends in 2020, unveiled a list of budget reform proposals Wednesday that included replace the committee he heads.

“We can all agree that the current budget and spending system has broken down,” Enzi said in remarks on the Senate floor.


“I am hopeful that through this process, we will be able to reach bipartisan agreement to end the current dysfunction and put our country on a path toward a more sustainable fiscal future.”

Enzi’s plan would replace the Budget Committee with a Fiscal Control Committee, which would have to include the leaders of the appropriations and finance committees. The committee would have to establish a debt target to be carried out in a two-year budget and appropriations cycle. The debt limit would automatically be increased as part of the budget resolution.

“These ideas are focused on creating a durable system to sustainably manage our country’s finances, while also improving the fiscal transparency in Congress,” Enzi said. “They would also boost oversight and accountability in the budget process and help end the brinksmanship in the nation’s fiscal debates.”

Enzi’s plans reflect a widespread agreement in the capitol that the budget process is broken. Spending bills are seldom ready in time for the new fiscal year, lapses in funding that lead to shutdowns happen every few years, and fiscal targets are generally disregarded.

But whether or not there is appetite for accepting the reform plans is another question.

Last year, a bipartisan joint select committee to reform the budget and appropriations process failed to agree on a set of recommendations after months of hearings, expert testimony and meetings. 

The recommendations come ahead of an expected Wednesday Senate vote to raise spending caps that would impose severe spending cuts and suspend the debt ceiling. 

The deal is expected to add $1.7 trillion to deficits over the course of a decade when compared to the planned cuts.