What do unlikely bedfellows Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) have in common? According to the two lawmakers, the budget and appropriations process by which Congress is expected to responsibly pass spending bills one-by-one each year is failing. In fact, POLITICO reports that Murphy believes regular order is all but a work of fiction:
“It’s slowly grinding to a halt … I think we spend an awful lot of time sorting through a process that is by and large a fiction.”
Moreover, according to Senator John Thune (R-SD), Congress’ practice of crisis budgeting—or passing short-term extensions and trillion-dollar spending packages at the eleventh hour and under threat of government shutdown—has given way to higher spending and bad deals for hardworking Americans. CQ Roll Call reports that Thune believes regular order is failing:
“I think people get very tired of having to process these things at the end of the year, at the eleventh hour, when in most cases Democrats have all the leverage because we haven’t gotten the bills across the floor.”
Despite Murphy’s candid quip, he expressed little interest in working to change Congress’s bad habits anytime soon. With government funding headed toward expiration on September 30, POLITICO also reports that Murphy seems to favor another massive spending package:
“It might be better to admit that it is all in the service of an omnibus, rather than pretending like we’re going to pass these bills.”
Freedom Partners is part of a coalition of organizations that has offered the Stop, Cut & Fix spending plan. It is a responsible, two-year appropriations plan that holds both the next Congress and administration to responsible spending levels—as required under the Budget Control Act.
Stop, Cut & Fix will not solve all of Congress’s spending problems, but it is an important first step to ensure Congress can get back to work without the manufactured crises plaguing taxpayers. Under the plan, legislators will have time time to reform the budget and appropriations process and rightly allow appropriators to consider spending bills on their merits—without the threat of government shutdown.