Up for a vote this week are two proposals – the first in a series of budget reform bills – that Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) says will “create new tools for lawmakers to address the bias towards ever-higher spending in Washington and increase transparency and accountability in order to show taxpayers the true costs of government loans and bailouts.” Here’s a look:
- Ending the baseline budget bias toward big government spending: The Baseline Reform Act of 2012 (H.R. 3578), introduced by Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA), removes the pro-spending bias in the budget process. According to the Budget Committee, the “baseline” assumption in current law – which projects automatic spending increases for inflation and other factors – inflated the amount of discretionary spending by approximately $1.4 trillion in last year’s 10-year projections. This bill eliminates that ongoing pro-spending bias. [READ THE BILL]
- Examining legislation’s impact on economic growth and job creation: The Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2012 (H.R. 3582), introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), requires the CBO to analyze the impact major pieces of legislation will have on economic growth and job creation. The measure also requires CBO to estimate major legislation’s potential impact on the federal budget, including changes that result from the proposal’s impact on the economy (such as a loss in tax revenue due to job losses). [READ THE BILL]
In the Pledge to America, Republicans promised to reform the current budget process – which dates back to the early 1970s – to help end the bias toward big government spending that hurts job growth, stop taxpayer bailouts, and begin protecting America’s biggest entitlement programs from bankruptcy. Today the House will begin to make good on that pledge.