ICYMI: Sen. Enzi takes on bipartisan budget reform in Congress

Senator Mike Enzi
2016-09-29 14:25:33
Mike Enzi, United States Senator for Wyoming Casper Star-Tribune - Enzi takes on bipartisan budget reform in Congress* Laura Hancock -September 28, 2016* *Click�here [link 1]�to read the full story as it appeared in the Casper Star Tribune. * Threatened federal government shutdowns. Spending bills that exceed limits negotiated by Congress. Concocted emergencies to justify loans. And no way for the public to follow the money. These are all dysfunctions of the current budgeting and spending process in Washington, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi says. And the Republican, who leads the Senate Budget Committee, is working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reform the process. �We have a broken budget process," Wyoming's senior U.S. senator said. "Congress is kind of like a binge eater who is ready to start a diet right after dessert." .. Enzi is eyeing some reforms that date back to his time in the Wyoming Legislature, such as a proposal to change the federal government to two-year budget cycles. The result, he said, would be colleagues voting on controversial spending bills during non-election years and less controversial appropriations bills during election years. The would lead to better decision-making, he said. Other proposals have been brought forward by Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee, including from Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, Hillary Clinton�s running mate, who is concerned about the debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio, Enzi said. Enzi also invited two former committee chairmen to share thoughts -- Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. �I�ve been working these solutions in a bipartisan way,� Enzi said. �I�ve had a whole series of hearings to find out how it�s done in other countries and states.� Some of the proposals are individual bills, such as the two-year budget cycle measure. Others will be wrapped up in one bill, which has yet to be introduced. Enzi said he had hoped the reforms would already have passed. But he said the presidential election has caused delays. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, is the ranking member of the committee. He�s been wrapped up in campaigning for himself and then Clinton.� Ultimately, budget reform is the best way to reduce the country's nearly $20 trillion debt, Enzi said. �I�ll continue to sound the clarion call that we're in trouble,� he said.
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