11.15.18

Senator David Perdue Proposes Bold Changes To Fix Broken Funding Process

“Congress should be held to the same standards of people in the real world.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), member of the Senate Budget Committee, announces five key priorities for changing Congress’ broken funding process, which will be considered in the bicameral Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform:

“Since I first came to the United States Senate, I’ve called for changing Washington’s broken budget and funding process. We began with an informal, bipartisan working group of members who agreed it was time to change the budget process. The working group investigated best practices in other countries, states, and companies. Now, this Joint Select Committee is our chance to find a real solution. Congress has only funded the government on time four times since the Budget Act of 1974 was signed into law, and the last time was in 1996—more than 20 years ago. On top of that, the federal government has shut down 20 times in the last 44 years because Congress failed to meet its funding deadline. This September, Congress was close to fully funding the government on time for the first time in 22 years. Instead, Congress gave up and passed another continuing resolution. This is totally irresponsible. More than ever, we need a politically neutral platform and real consequences for Members of Congress if they don’t get the job done. Congress should be held to the same standards of people in the real world.”

Senator Perdue will offer the following solutions:

  • Milestones With Consequences: Create a series of milestones for passing a budget and appropriations bills to keep Congress on track to fund the government on time. Coupled with changing the fiscal year, these milestones would provide more certainty for our military and other federal agencies.  
  • Change The Fiscal Year Ending From September 30 To December 31: Matching the fiscal year with the calendar year gives Congress more time to pass a budget and all of the appropriations bills.
  • Make The Budget A Law: Change the budget from a concurrent resolution to a joint resolution, making it require the signature of the President and carry the force of law.
  • Require 60 Votes: Raise the vote threshold for final passage of a budget resolution in the Senate from 51 votes to 60 votes, which is 3/5 of all Senators. This forces bipartisanship throughout the entire budget process while retaining the privileged nature of the budget resolution and matches the 60 vote requirement of the appropriations process.
  • End “Vote-a-rama”: End vote-a-rama by requiring all amendments to be debated on and voted on within 50 hours of consideration. This would expedite the passage of a budget by limiting frivolous messaging amendments.

The Joint Select Committee was established by Congress on February 9, 2018 and is composed of 16 Members of Congress: four Senate Republicans, four Senate Democrats, four House Republicans, and four House Democrats. The members have until the ending of the calendar year to agree on changes to the budget and appropriations process and present them to Congress for a full vote.

Senator Perdue has made it one of his top priorities to change Congress’ failed funding process. Over the past three years, he has met with policy experts, outside groups, retired Members of Congress, and his colleagues from both parties and chambers to study best practices and highlight the flaws of the current budget process. In February, he wrote a column in The Hill calling on Congress to recognize that the current funding process will never work and it must be changed.

###

Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.