Tom Graves Introduces Legislation to Reform Congress’s Budgeting Process

We’ve covered in some detail Senator David Perdue’s year-long effort to change the way Congress develops its annual budget, and appropriates funds for each fiscal year. One result of this effort was the introduction of the Accurate Accounting Act in the Senate earlier this year.

On Thursday, 14th District Rep. Tom Graves introduced a matching House version of the Accurate Accounting Act, calling for zero based budgeting, showing the true cost of the Social Security program, and increasing accountability by requiring the General Accountability Office to produce reports on the effectiveness of mandatory spending programs that are not subject to the regular appropriations process. In a statement, Rep. Graves said,

Washington’s budget process is broken. It’s only worked four times in the past 40 years. We can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result, which is why I introduced this bill. It creates a new, more honest framework in which Washington’s budgeting process would take place. The reforms would help control costs and give Americans a clear view of the country’s financial picture, much of which is hidden by the current budgeting process. While the bill doesn’t fix every problem, it’s an important first step. My hope is that these changes spur far greater reforms that balance the budget and solve our national debt crisis.

This isn’t the first time Graves has introduced a zero based budgeting proposal. While serving as a state representative in the Georgia House, he championed the idea, introducing legislation in 2009 that eventually became law in 2012.

Meanwhile, as the start of a new fiscal year begins on Saturday with the likely passage of a continuing resolution, Senator Perdue is using the occasion to stress the need for his budgeting proposals. “Once again, we are witnessing a complete breakdown of the budget and appropriations process,” Perdue said in a statement. “Enough is enough, it is time for the greatest governing body ever conceived – the United States Senate – to start acting like it. Congress cannot continue to legislate from crisis to crisis. We cannot allow the budget and appropriations process to come to a grinding halt every year. We cannot allow gridlock to prevent funding the federal government on time. We certainly cannot afford a temporary fix that does not produce real results for the American people.”

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