Congress Creates a Bipartisan, Bicameral Budget Overhaul Group

The House and Senate have formed a new Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform.  The 16 member group is scheduled to meet at least five times before the end of November 2018.  The goal is to develop legislative language to implement recommendations that would reform and enhance the Federal budget and appropriations processes.  Creating the Select Committee was required by the recently passed Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

The Select Committee will be co-chaired by House Budget Committee Chair Steve Womack (R-AR) and House Appropriations Committee Ranking Minority Member Nita Lowey (D-NY).  Remaining House members are:  Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rob Woodall (R-GA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), John Yarmuth (D-KY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Derek Kilmer (D-WA).  Senate participants are:  Roy Blunt (R-MO), David Perdue (R-GA), Jim Lankford (R-OK), and Joni Ernst (R-IA). Senate Democrats are:  Sheldon Whitehouse, RI, Michael Bennet, CO, and Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, HI.

Created in 1974, the current budget and appropriations process has not been substantially modified since.  Effecting change will be a very heavy lift for Committee members. Election year politics and basic distrust between parties and chambers will have to be either overcome or set aside for any consensus to be reached.