WASHINGTON, D.C.--Senator John Thune today introduced legislation that would add teeth to the budget process by requiring Congress to pass a biennial binding joint budget resolution, and the president to sign the budget resolution into law. Thune's legislation, The Budget Reform Act of 2011, was included in a larger budget reform bill, first introduced in 2009.
"Congress has continually failed to fulfill its most fundamental duty to the American taxpayer, which is to pass a budget," said Thune. "American families are required to live by a budget, and Congress should be no different. My legislation would require Congress to budget in odd numbered years, so elected officials are forced to find savings in election years."
Should Congress fail to pass a biennial budget and appropriation bills, there would be an automatic two-year Continuing Resolution at the previous year's spending levels.
The Senate Budget Committee is expected to consider Thune's proposal in a hearing titled "Improving the Congressional Budget Process" on Wednesday, October 12th at 9:30 a.m. ET. A growing number of Senators and budget experts agree with Thune's approach to create not only a biennial budget, but to require the president to work with Congress in establishing the budget.