Renacci introduces bill to compel better compliance with federal budget

Jim Renacci

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) introduced a resolution on Wednesday that would make members of Congress more accountable to the federal budget.

The Budget Enforcement Awareness Resolution would raise awareness among members of Congress about legislation that does not comply with the federal budget.

“The first step in setting a path toward paying down our nation’s debt is by passing a fiscally responsible budget resolution,” Renacci said. “But that is only part of the equation. Not only do we need to set a budget that balances, but we also must learn to better abide by it. Families are held accountable to following the budget they set for themselves; Washington should not be any different. We need to get serious about our country’s fiscal future.”

The national debt exceeded $19 trillion for the first time earlier this year, and that amount doesn’t account for trillions of dollars more in unfunded liabilities, according to some economists.

“The budget process is clearly broken, with deadlines often ignored and a chasm between what is prescribed in the budget resolution and the actual spending and revenue decisions subsequently made by lawmakers,” Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget, said. “Rep. Renacci’s bill would increase both transparency and accountability in the process by pushing lawmakers to explicitly recognize each time they waive budget rules. The process will only work if there is commitment to enforcing the rules, and Rep. Renacci’s bill would make important progress on that front.” 

Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, said that the House Rules Committee too often waives budgetary points of order as a bill moves to the floor for debate.

“Renacci’s proposal would allow consideration of budget-related points of order in cases where legislation would worsen the already deteriorating budget outlook,” Bixby said. “Such accountability is vitally important because structural problems in the budget are projected to lead to an unsustainable federal debt burden that threatens the well-being of future generations. Adoption of this common sense bill would strengthen budget enforcement, promote accountability, and heighten awareness of attempts to break the budget.”

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