This bill would establish an independent commission known as the Joint Commission on Budget Process Reform to study, assess, and make recommendations to improve the federal budgeting process. It would hold at least four public hearings examining potential budget process reforms, seek recommendations from economists, lawmakers, federal agencies, state legislatures, educational institutions, and private organizations. It would also provide Congress with a report examining several issues described below, and draft a bill to reform the budget process.
The report would examine the following issues:
Potential changes and enforcement tools to ensure the on-time completion of the congressional budget process.
Procedures to address mandatory spending levels.
The impact of instituting long-term debt limits.
Procedures to increase inclusiveness and transparency in the congressional budget process.
The feasibility of a balanced budget amendment.
The impact of a binding congressional budget.
The need to reauthorize the Congressional Budget Office in an effort to provide greater assistance to the House and Senate Budget Committees.
The feasibility of changing the fiscal year from October 1st to January 1st so it aligns with the calendar year.
Examining whether or not there should be term limits for members to serve on the House and Senate budget committees.
The efficiency of annual (one year) budgeting in comparison to biennial (two year) budgeting.
The commission would be composed of 23 members, including the chair and ranking members of the Budget, Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Finance Committees; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of the Treasury; the Comptroller General; and eight members of Congress chosen by leadership that are evenly divided by chamber and party. Nominees would be appointed within 30 days and serve for the duration of the commission, which would hold its first meeting within 30 days of the bill’s enactment.
The bill to reform the budget process would be introduced jointly in both the House and Senate, committees would have 15 calendar days to consider it, and could be brought to the floor for debate and a vote on an expedited basis. The commission would terminate when the bill is signed into law by the president or two years after this legislation is enactment, whichever occurs first.