Budget Reform Joint Select Committee Falls Short

Yesterday, the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, failed to reach an agreement on a reform proposal, as was required by law.

In response, National Taxpayers Union Director of Federal Affairs Nan Swift issued a short statement:

National Taxpayers Union (NTU) was disappointed the Joint Select Committee did not produce the reforms to the budget and appropriations process that taxpayers urgently need.

Though the underlying text and amendments that were accepted over two days of mark-up fell short of significant reform, amendments such as Representative Kilmer’s (D-WA) “Fiscal State of the Nation” and Senators Bennet (D-CO) and Lankford’s (R-OK) improvements to the makeup of the Senate Budget Committee would all have been an improvement over the status quo. Had this product moved forward, it would have enhanced awareness and participation both inside and outside the Beltway in the serious funding decisions our nation is facing. In addition, this bipartisan model, with adequate time for mindful consideration, should have created a workable model for other major, intractable issues, such as entitlement reform.

While their efforts fell short, we again commend the hard work and dedication of the Members of the Joint Select Committee, along with their staff. Their willingness to work across the aisle in a civil and sincere manner should be an example to their colleagues. In their closing statements, many members expressed a desire to continue to work together on our deepening fiscal crisis. We look forward to working with them and urge Leadership in both chambers to prioritize these efforts.