Warner, Kaine introduce Senate bill to require two-year federal budgeting

congressU.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have introduced the bipartisan Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act of 2015 in an effort to reform Congress’ budgeting process. The legislation would convert Congress’ annual budget and appropriations process to a two-year budget cycle, with one year for budgeting and appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted to oversight of federal programs.

The bill requires the president to submit a two-year budget at the beginning of the first session of a Congress. Members of Congress would then need to adopt a two-year budget resolution, a reconciliation bill if necessary and two-year appropriations bills during that first session. The second session of a Congress would then be devoted to the consideration of authorization bills and oversight of federal programs.

“Twenty states, including Virginia, operate on a two-year budget cycle, so we know it works,” Sen. Warner said. “Budgeting on a two-year timeframe is a commonsense way to provide more oversight of federal spending and a more thoughtful approach to the entire budget process.”

“It’s clear that Congress’ current budgeting and appropriations process is broken,” said Sen. Kaine.“In Virginia, we’ve seen firsthand how biennial budgeting can produce positive results and I believe adopting such a model would dramatically improve our ability to achieve normal budget order, giving certainty to families and businesses.”

Warner and Kaine both co-sponsored the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act when it was introduced in the last Congress.

Joining Warner and Kaine in introducing the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act of 2015 were Senators Isakson (R-GA), Shaheen (D-NH), Ayotte (R-NH), Alexander (R-TN), Barrasso (R-WY), Collins, (R-ME), Crapo (R-ID), Enzi (R-WY), Fischer (R-NE), Grassley (R-IA), Heinrich (D-NM), Johnson (R-WI), King (I-ME), Klobuchar (D-MN), Lankford (R-OK), Manchin (D-WV), McCain (R-AZ), Murkowski (R-AK), Perdue (R-GA), Portman (R-OH) and Vitter (R-LA).