03.30.16

Senator David Perdue Releases Video: “Guiding Budget Principles”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today released a video entitled “Guiding Budget Principles,” where he talks directly to Georgians about Washington’s broken budget process and highlights potential guiding principles Congress should consider going forward. This is the second installment in Senator Perdue’s budget video series on the national debt. View the first video “Four Words Rarely Heard In Washington” here.

Click here to watch the video or click the image below. 

BUDGET SCREEN

Transcript:

“The primary responsibility of Congress is to fund the federal government. In fact, Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution charges us to do just that.

After going through the full budget process for the first time last year, I can tell you it is more broken than expected.

Dysfunction and gridlock has enabled the President to overreach his Constitutional powers and led to runaway spending by both parties.

Washington has lost sight of the very principles the American people follow in their day-to-day lives to ensure fiscal discipline.

The result is what we see today: $19 trillion in debt, $100 trillion in future unfunded liabilities, and a budget that is no longer a governing document but simply a political document.

This can be changed. In fact, it must be changed right now. We are out of time for idle debate and partisan bickering. The crisis is upon us.

As we begin the budget cycle once again, there are a few guiding principles Washington should consider going forward.

First, the budget should have the enforcement power of a law, not just a resolution.

Fiscal discipline cannot be fully achieved if the approved budget can be ignored or abandoned at any time when financial decisions become too tough or politically motivated.

This is what we saw last year. Congressional leaders and President Obama waited until the eleventh hour to fund the government and ended up waiving the Republican budget, which, by the way, cut $7 trillion in spending from the President’s budget. Instead of a budget, they agreed on a short-term fix, an omnibus, instead of a serious solution to our spending problem.

Second, the budget should be all encompassing. It should include all spending and all revenue.

Most people don’t know that about 70 percent of what the federal government spends is mandatory, and is therefore, not accounted for in the budget process. 

You and I both know that it is impossible to be responsible for the budgetary decisions if you don’t really know what the full mandatory spending is and if it’s not considered in the budget process.

For instance, if you look at the state of Georgia’s budget, they start out with a revenue estimate—a full picture of the budget. But the federal government does not even do that.

We must have a realistic accounting of all government spending to fully understand the fiscal catastrophe we are facing and be able to fix it.

Third, there should be real consequences for Congress if it does not fund the federal government on time. How simple is that?

Previous consequences, like sequestration, only hurt the military and other essential programs, instead of making smart and strategic decisions.

Firm deadlines for each phase of the funding process should be enforced without exception.

Consequences for not completing any step of the process should impact those who failed to do their job – Congress – not the military or the American people.

Ultimately, Congress should redesign its process to accommodate the timely completion of funding the federal government.

The current committee structure and timeline needs to be realigned so funds can be allocated appropriately and ensure accountability.

Part of this realignment should include changing the fiscal year to the calendar year in order to accommodate the full annual budgeting cycle for each new Congress.

As it is, the current budget process has only worked four times in the last 40 years, yet Washington still holds this broken process as sacred. 

We’ve got to change that.

The first step to solving our exploding debt crisis is to fix the budget process right now. We can no longer afford the gridlock—and this should not be a partisan effort.

The result is what we’ve seen play out year after year—funding patches, continuing resolutions, and omnibus bills, which have not been effective in controlling spending.

It’s time for Washington to be honest with the American people about the realities of our current financial catastrophe.

Completing a timely budget that funds our priorities as a country is the primary responsibility of Congress

Folks, it’s time to finally come to the realization that until we fix the way Washington funds the federal government, more often than not, we will have to say ‘we cannot afford it.’”