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tv   Hearing on Improving Budget Appropriations Process  CSPAN  October 18, 2019 1:23pm-3:00pm EDT

1:23 pm and listen wherever you are using the free c-span radio app. facebook ceo and co-founder mark zuckerberg testifying next week about the company's libre cryptocurrency. that is going to live here on c-span3 wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and you can also listen with the or listen free with the c-span radio app. up next, the house committee on the modernization of congress is heard from congresswoman anita lowey, and this is held before congresswoman lowey announced she is going to retire from congress following this term. >> the committee will come to order.
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without objection, the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time and this is entitled "approving the budget process, and a look at the budget committee on budget process reform." i recognize myself for five minutes for a statement. the 104th congress convened in 1995 was the last to pass all of the appropriations bills prior to the start of the fiscal year and that was almost 25 years ago, and most of the house members serving today have never seen a process to work the way it is supposed to where the stand alone bills are passed on time. on the joint committee on budget and appropriations reform, along with myself and bob woodall was tasked with making recommendations to significantly reform the budget and appropriations process. the very act of establishing the committee is acknowledging that the process is not working the way it should. and article 9 section one of the
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constitution says that no treasury should be withdrawn without the authorization of congress. it is a constitutionally check on the executive power, and when congress fails to pass the appropriations bills on time, it feeds power for the executive branch. congress has passed 117 continuing resolutions since the beginning of fiscal year 1998. last year, congress passed five crs and this year, congress passed three. that is a lot of time spent dealing with funding decisions, but think of the time that congress would have to focus on other legislative duties if appropriations bills were passed on time, and the decision of how to allocate for federal programs is tough work, but it is the congress' job, and the people deserve a fully functioning job, and funding the government is congress' most important job. while the committee did not pass a bill, it produced important work to provide a framework for reform today. the committee engaged in serious discussions of what it would
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take to fix the budget in ap 3r0e7iations process and many of the ideas that came out of the discussions are well worth considering and this is our intent today, to talk about the problems with the process and potentially the areas of agreement where both of the parties and the chambers could find some common ground. while we are working on, and while we are foe cushion on the work of the joint select committee, we don't need to limit ourselves to the recommendations that that committee considered, a i am looking forward to hearing the ideas of the witnesses and particularly grateful to the appropriations chair ms. lowey and the budget chair mr. womack who tag teamed with that leadership. and with that, i will invite our chair tom graves to provide opening comments. >> i would like to thank the chair and ms. lowey for joining us today. and as co-chair of the joint
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select committee, we know that you will see that the committee is proof that your work is living on, and so it is not for nought, and we will continue to work on the work from last year and this committee has that opportunity and and to build on the foundation and so we are glad that you are here to take a part of this today and we all want to solve this and hopefully today we can gather the ideas and the advice of how the tackle the complex issue. when it comes to the complex funding process in congress, we know that we can do better. the american people, our con12i67 weco constituents expect us to do better and we are charged with using taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively and i would like to look forward to the success as we move on, mr. chairman. each party and chairman and administration runs into the brick wall of the funding process and each and every time it seem like over the last couple of years and as one of the witnesses today, mr. owens has illustrated to the joint select committee last year to
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your joint select committee, the quote is that it is 20 years since the appropriations bills have been passed prior to the start of the fiscal years, and 27% of the senators have seen the process work and for house members, it has been 16%. we have a lot of the appropriators in the room today, myself and the chairman as well. and so i know that the problem is personal to each of us, as well as to the two at the panel here, and the appropriators as well. it has been tough for all of us to spend hours in the mark-ups and the negotiations, and then see the work chewed up by the process. it is tough to see it discarded by a continuing resolution, and tough to see it going through year after year after year, and we have different backgrounds and philosophies and yet what we have in common is that we are trapped in the broken funding process together, and so i think that today's hearing in a bipartisan spirit where we get to pick up on the efforts that you left us with last year,
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hopefully, we will have a chance to fix this and get out of the broken cycle that we are in. thank you, mr. chairman, and i look forward to the hearing. >> thank you. today we welcome the testimony of five witnesses and on the first panel, we have representative nita lowey the chair of the house appropriations committee and steve womack who is the chairman of the appropriations committee. and despite this being a very busy week, they have each generously said they will provide five minutes of testimony, and once they are finished we will move back to the precious time of this panel. with that, you are recognized for five minutes, ms. lowey. >> chairman kilmer and vice chair graves, and members of the select committee, aim pleased to frankly speak to you in a room that is very familiar and
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familiar faces and to be here alongside ranking member womack who served with me as the co-chair of the joint select committee on bucket and dget an appropriations process reform in the 114th congress. while certains over the budgetary processes prevented that committee from reporting out recommendations, the house democrats have used the first nine months of the new majority to make important improvements to the budget and the appropriations budget process. i am pleased to say that one of the most important changes that i advocated in the joint select committee raising unworkable budget cap s was achieved in a bipartisan way in july. because of speaker pelosi's leadership, this bipartisan act allows us to invest for the people and increase funding for education, health care and human
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services. in addition the bipartisan budget deficit act removed the ceiling and the uncertainty for families, businesses and communities across the country. however, as i recommended in the joint select committee process, i would prefer to go further and completely repeal the debt ceiling. it is no useful purpose other than to provide opportunities and brinksmanship that threatens the nation's credit and the health of the economy. in addition to the bipartisan budget act, we have also made important changes to the house rules. when our democratic majority took office in january, we adopted a meaningful pay as you go rule that shuts the doors on the policies such as the gop tax scam. as chairwoman of the
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appropriations committee, i have restored the longstanding practice of adopting 302-b allocations before reporting appropriation bills and important steps for transparency. to build on these successes and in charting a more effective and responsible course for the american people, there are two key legislative changes that i proposed making when i led the joint select committee that would help to improve the budget and the appropriations budget process. mooing from the moving from annual to biennial resolutions, and to provide a mechanism to facilitate actions on a item even if the budget resolution is not adopted ideally allowing for a
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concurrent resolution dealing with 302-a allocations only. although, these are outside of the scope of this select committee, it is worth noting that i also favor two changes to senate rules that would bolster fiscal responsibility in both chambers. restoring the conrad rule, the senate rule that prevented reconciliation legislation from increasing the deficit, and the first ten years, and adding a new 60-vote point of order in the senate against reconciliation instructions in a budget resolution that called for a net deficit increase. in addition, i support technical improvements to better handle the cap adjustment items and change the bases for calculations of the emergency spending and expedite the
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administration's provision of a full year budgetary data to the cbo. however, even with these changes, the most important element to a successful budget and appropriations process is political will. i am proud that our democratic majority has shown that political will and taken our responsibilities seriously. that is why our chamber is far ahead of the senate in processing appropriation bills this year. finally, i'd like to discuss the elephant in the room, the congressionally directed spending. this select committee on the modernization of congress was tasked with strengthening the institution, and nothing could strengthen the article one branch of government more than restoring the congressionally directed spending. it is imperative that congress exercise the constitutional
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responsibility in determining how and where taxpayer dollars that we appropriate are spent. the end of congressionally directed spending has led to diminished comity in the house, and tran fered power for the executive branch and return to earmarking under a strong set of rules to ensure transparency and prevent abuse would be of immeasurable benefit to the house and to the american people. i hope that we can do so in the months ahead. thank you for inviting me to testify and best of luck with the select committee. >> thank you, madam chair, and thank you for your leadership. chairman womack, you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman and members of the select committee. i appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today. i would like to share some
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perspectives of the committee of the budget and processes reform task force that i was proud to chair. i look forward to a productive discussion. many members of the house have voiced frustrations about the broken budget process. our current process was written in the 1970s. it has been updated with minor revisions on a few occasion, and it does not align with the dynamics of the modern congress, however. last year the joint select committee was tasked with producing legislation to reform the budget process with an equal number of republicans and democrats and a super majority voting threshold. that super majority was five republicans and five democrats and 10 of the 16 members but a requirement of five members from each party and this structure guaranteed a consensus-driven product. we ultimately produced a
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bi-partisan and bi-cameral process, and some were moving to biennial budget, and maintaining appropriations, and assuming realistic deadlines for the congress to complete the budgets and appropriations work, and requiring the budget hearing on the fiscal state of the nation. why did we fail? we obtained the bipartisan and bi-cameral support for a number of proposals, but the final vote did not reach the required super majority threshold. some members voted no, and some voted present. a number of those members indicated support for the underlying bill, but voted present due to unrelated disagreement among the senate leadership. however, the final proposal was developed with the input from all of the members and the co-chair agreed to the text and it was marked up in the super majority vote, and some in the unanimous vote, and ideas were found, and those proposals
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should be explored by future reformers. besides examining the budget and the appropriation process i was also pleasantly surprised that the republicans and the democrats in house and the senate came into the deliberations to talk about the debt. to be clear, our group did not try to identify policies to reduce the deficit by a certain amount, but what we did discuss extensively is the fact that congress does not use the existing procedures to reduce the debt. we could use regular order or reconciliation, but we simply don't. members expressed interest in the third route and perhaps one that is bipartisan and bi-cameral with a debt to gdp as a target metric and leader sheld shelden was the first.
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and for this, i would encourage you if get some first downs rather than throw the hail mary. the select work product represents a bi-cameral and bipartisan step forward for incremental reform. second, we should continue to focus on the budget process and not budget outcomes. outcomes are specific levels of funding or the proposals to reduce the deficit by a certain amount, and process is how congress determines how much to spend or how to determine what policies to enact to reduce the deficit. i'd like to see us modernize the procedures which is going to hopefully set up congress for success in the future, regardless of who happens to have the majority at any given time. my goal so get something enacted into law that improves the process. i am willing to work with both republicans and democrats in the house and the senate to try to do so. finally, it is important to acknowledge the importance of the senate in this puzzle and for that, i recognize this chair's release of the reform
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ideas earlier in the summer. before i conclude, let me just anecdotally say this, there is no better poster child or the challenge confronting the congress of the united states of america than where we happen to be today on funding the government in the beginning of the fiscal year that is less than two weeks away. i challenge this committee and all willing participants in the congress to find solutions that can put congress back on the track of doing arguably the most important work. i yield back. >> thank you. i wanted to just again express my gratitude to both of you. you are two of the most busiest people in the marble buildings and the fact that you were willing to give us your time and wisdom, i am grateful for. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> and with that, we will now
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move on to the second panel. our first witness is matthew owen, and mr. owens is the executive vice president, and the vice president for federal relations at the american association of universities. he provides strategic management, and also serves on the council of convergent, which is to build trusts and form alliances for action on critical national issues, and in this capacity he served on the building a better budget process to address the dysfunctional budget process, and the project participants reached consensus on five proposals to improve the process that congress uses to manage the $4 trillion annual budget. william hogland is a senior at the policy center and in this chasti capacity he helps to provide policy and analysis.
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he has also had 25 years on the u.s. senate staff, and from 2003 to 2007 he served as the director of budget appropriations in the office of the senate majority leader bill frisk. and he has assisted in major legislation and coordinated the budget policy for the leadership n. 1982 to 2003, mr. hogland served as a staff member and director of the senate budget committee including reporting to u.s. senator pete doe minchey. and he also participated in federal budget meetings, including the graham/rudman budget act and also the restore budget agreement. and finally, megan lynch is a director of the congressional budget process, and she joined crs in 2007 as the presidential management fellow and prior to coming to crs worked for local government in maryland and the
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maryland general assembly, and the witnesses are reminded that the oral testimony is limited to five minutes and your written statements will be made part of the record. mr. owens you are recognized for five minutes to give a oral presentation of the testimony. >> thank you for the opportunity to testify before this important panel. i am encouraged that the work to modernize congress is including ways to fix the broken federal budget process. i have seen the consequences of the budget failures over the past few decades and student financial aid decisions are held up, and important medical research is delayed and long-term plank is held up, because the congress does not prepare a budget in a highly effective way and it wastes time and taxpayer resources to be used for the teaching and research and other missions of universities. i chose to participate in the convergent building a better process for budgeting. this is what people do everyday,
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they seek to solve difficult problems facing the nation. at the same time, my university does support the proposals that we will discuss. i understand that you have copies of my testimony, i will highlight the five consensus proposals that we developed. the first is called the budget development plan which synchronizes with the governing cycles to adopt on the congress to adopt a two-year budget to sign into law by the president. the budget directive plan has three elements and one option. it sets the discretionary spending for two years and lifts the shortfall by any debt agreed to in the legislation. and third, authorizes a look-back report to analyze the impact that ten actment of the budget would have on the long-term fiscal outlook. and additionally, it allows congress to have the option of considering one reconciliation bill per fiscal year. it also requires the cbo to have
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a fiscal state of the nation report and issued in the presidential cycle and outlining the key financial projects and not limited to debts, deficits and revenue spending and a breakdown of the revenues and the tax expenditures and any estimates shortfalls and long-term spending programs. this report is widely distributed and providing the information in reader-friendly ways to allow non-insiders to read the budget. it would provide a full picture of the nation's finances, and help the voters to make more informed choices. the third proposal is seeking to look at the long term reforms of the budgets. we pro pose it every four years. it is a program that is long term or the intergenerational commitments review. it would include health care, national security.
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and also, we agree that the stature of the committee needs to be restored to prepare to lead the process. we propose that the chairs and the ranking members of the key fiscal operating committees or the designees serve on the budget committees. it would help to ensure those who are responsible for carrying tout budget would be vested in the process to develop it. the last proposal calls on congress to give cbo and gao and other budget-support agencies the resources to provide credible and high quality and independent information. the proposal is new responsibilities for the agencies so that it is important that they have adequate resources. now, these five proposals will not yield a perfect budget process, however, we believe they contain practical and achievable measures that can be developed further to implement a process that is facilitating and gives sound decision making information. and we are looking at the
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limited of the budgeting to biennial and any other changes to the budget committee. also, i want to share a shared feeling of our group. no package of reforms by itself can remedy the prevailing dysfunction. process reforms alone cannot force congress to reach the budget deals. political will is needed. a process does matter and small or large changes can create ownership or buy-in for the new expectations and the norms for budgeting. right now, the expectations are low, tnld norms are broken. and as noted earlier, it has been more than 20 years since the appropriations bills were passed prior to the start of the fiscal year, and mr. graves to your point, i have updated, and my colleague taylor henry, he ran the numbers yesterday and just 15% of all current members of congress have seen the process work. we believe that our proposals can help to remedy this. on behalf of the convergence project participants, we wish you success. this panel's work is important
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to the nation's governance and we hope that you can help implement the budget process with congress. thank you for the testimony and the well wishes. and mr. hogland, you are now recognized for five minutes. >> is that on? okay. apologize for that. the bipartisan policy center congratulates and applauds the committee for the recommendati n recommendations that you have adopted to date. as you said, the current processes and rules and concepts and processes are so complex that members and the staffs find them hard to understand and let alone the american taxpayer. over the last 12 years, congress failed to adopt eight times 2/3 of the time the budget resolution blueprint for the upcoming year, and most recently for the fiscal year that begins in 11 days. my testimony therefore focuses on one possible solution to
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getting your work done on a timely manner, and to the long ago greed to biennial budget proposal, and something that you, mr. chairman, and mr. woodall are familiar with havinged on the joint select committee last year. at the outset, i must note, mr. chairman, representative mr. dell vany and brooks and others who are the states of washington, and indiana and wisconsin joined 20 other states with functioning biennial budgets. as i look back over the current history of the budget act as early 1987, the bipartisan agreement between congress and president reagan was reached to set two-year caps on the discretionary spending and followed with the same bipartisan agreements of 1987, and in 2011 it set the budget caps for ten years through 2021 but they were adjusted in two-year tranches by the process budget of 2015, 2018 and of
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course most recently 2019, and in other words, two years is the operative time period for congress to abide by any limits standard practice seems to be a recommendation this committee could find consensus around. over the years my thinks have evolved to not supporting to todaying a split buy even ehnlial budget appropriation contract. the they adopted a resolution by may 15 of the first session of the congress. the resolution once adopted would have established a biennial budget for the cigarette congress setting in place the fop 302 a for the following two years but the house appropriations committee was charged with reporting annual appropriations bill each session of the 2-year by enyum. even if congress could adopt a buy enyum budget by may 15th in the first session of congress it would be difficult for the appropriation committee both house and senate for the complete action on all 12
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appropriation bills before beginning of the next fiscal year. that is why i would have preferred if the 12 appropriation bills were split in half with six being considered in the first year of the buy enyum and six in the secondier. i must note the select committee proposal proposed a rechgs of the current resolutionfully time during the by enyum and allowed for annual appropriation bill to be trying reported for each of the fiscal years. here i may be expressing my own innerg of the select committee hungrying i'm not clear how one would generate two bills with one budget resolution. but benefits of buy enyum budgeting process are real. the long-term plan attention horizon is developed predictability. increased if you know what for oversight and authorization greater flexibility to program managers to realign resources and increased time for program eechlgs pormds review. a couple of final comments of
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concept iks of the bymen budget process. incentives are important for congress to do its work while debating the committee. if a budget resolution was not adopted may one the sticks were considered however no stick amendment were adopted. i must acknowledge you and mr. woodall you and woodall did vote for the ernst amendment in the committee. further the selected committee proposal did not include incentives other than the pramsz promise of completing on time. one suggestion if the. inspect is senate rules can be adopted to at least eliminate the filibuster to consider appropriation bills. one of the recurring criticism of biennial budget has been the argument that making accurate projection two years in advance is difficult. nothing in the biennial budget pr precludes funding or
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supplemental appropriations if needed for unanticipated or unplanned emergency attentions. one oaf year supplemental is better than 12 appropriations bills each year. let me conclude with whab stated on so many state in the in no process changes will make the decision easier. budget something governing. and governing is challenging. but i do believe you want to find consensus on reasonable doable reforms to the bumt and appropriation process by enyum budgeting should be kbifen serious consideration. >> thank you mr. hoagland. ms. liverpool you're recognized for five years. >> chairman kilmer, case ih vice chairman graves i'm megan lynch and i am a specialist -- -- i am a specialist on congress and the legislative process at the congressional research service. as requested my testimony this morning will touch briefly on two subjects, the work of the 2010 joint selection committee and congressional rules and practices related to earmarks.
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the joint select committee on budget and appropriations process reform was created in february of last year and was charged with developing legislation significantly reforming the budget and appropriations process. as mentioned earlier, the committee's membership as well as recommendations were required to be bipartisan. the after about nine nonts months of debate appear consideration the committee's recommendations were included in a cochairs mark and the committee held a markup during which additional recommendations were added as bipartisan amendments. the cokmars mark as amended include recommendation that is pertained almost solely to the budget resolution and the bunlt committees. on the budget resolution the recommendations proposed moving to a biennial budget resolution as opposed to the current friermt for a annual budget resolution and prerchd congress's ability to use reconciliation annually. it included an optional path for a bipartisan budget resolution with special procedures in the senate. next it included a revised time
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table allowing for more time for the development of the budget resolution. and it made changes to the budget committees. so in the house for the house budget committee is proposed eliminating term limits for house budge committee members, a proposal incorporated earlier this year in-house rules and senate proposed expanding the senate budget committee to include chair and ranking members of the senate committee on appropriations and senate committee on finance. last, it would have required the house and senate budget committees to hold a joint hearing on the fiscal state of the nation. so while not included in the time recommendations, the committee debated and considered many budget process reform proposals and that included a proposal to lift the earmark moratorium. earmarks are generally defined as spending or tax operation provision that would benefit a specific entity or local ity and included in legislation at the request of a member. while house rules use the term earmark this is sometimes referred to as congressionally directed spending.
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in the early 2000s earthquake marks received more scrutiny and addressed growing concern np in 2007 the house and senate adopted chairman ber rules with the stated intention of bringing transparency to the earmark process. the rules still in place essentially require three things. first requiring that earmark included in legislation and committee report language be disclosed. second they require that committees compile and maintain earmark requests. and last they require that any member requesting an earmark certify they have no financial interest in the earmark. in addition to the rules, the committee adopted practices that among other things sought to limit the recipient of earmark and purpose of earmarks. ultimately in 2011 the house and senate began observing what has been referred to as ear mork moratorium or earmark ban, the ear mork moratorium is not in law farr house or senate rules instead enforced by committee and chamber leadership through the agenda setting powers.
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some members proposed a re-examination of the ear marng mother toerm. that concludes my remarks. thanks for inviting me i'll look forward to ens aing questions you might have. >> thanks very much. appreciate your testimony and amazed that you didn't look down. that was impressive. i now recognize myself for the five minutes for questions. and i want to start with mr. hoagland. you know, i think so biennial budge thing seems like a process perennial smu and comes oh up over and over here andary here we are with the annual process. why have previous attempts to implement by ennial budging failed why is it so hard. >> first of all with all due respect i was a senate staffer for many, many years in the senate whereby ennial budgeting started to be put forward. united states senators of course have six years as opposed to to your two years.
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it always was very early on that the difficulty here quite frankly was here in the house. where the difficulty of you having to be in office only for two years before running for re-election and airporters. -- i'm a budgeter was that airporters wanted a bite at the apple every two years. every year. in terms of the recommendations of the joint select committee special select committee it reflects the fact that you want to have an tupt to airport evpp every year i'd say in the senate the difficulty is that they feel -- i think they feel that if you are doing this you do two years budgeting and two-year appropriation. it's the is the senate clash between the sfat and the house. >> there are clearly a lot of problems with the budget appropriations process. we talked about a bunch today. does biennial budgeting get at
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alleviating the problems, particularly those political in nature? >> no. >> all right. the is your sense though if we a by ennial process -- it seems in recent history when there is a caps agreement it speeds the ability dsh you know it sets a number for the appropriators to appropriate to. it seems the process gets bogged down as we have seen this year when there is not agreement on what the -- what the top line number is. >> yes, that clearly -- i think getting the 302 a early -- the reason in my testimony -- the reasoning i'm concerned is you are having -- you first of all have to adopt a biennial budget. and i -- i respect the fact gnat select committee moved this -- the adoption date to the first of may. from april the 15th or -- but even if you were able to get a concurrent conference agreement
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current relationship on the top line between house and senate by may 15th gichg the appropriators very short time together to get work done less than four months. not eem just adopting appear reporting as we have seen. when you get fake the 302s and break them down to the 30 it bs that's when you slow down the process dramatically. >> that's helpful. the -- the time question i have appoint to address to all of you and get your sense of this. i would say the concerns i'm going to raise are without regard to hoot is in the white house and which party is in a majority or minority in congress. but i think it's clear we have seen a real erosion of congressional authority and power. you know, under the constitution the congress is given the power much the purse. the powers have eroded we have seen aggressive rescissions regardless of administration, the ability to suspend
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substantial amounts of money even on things to which congress hasn't appropriated which is in the news quite a bit lately, and decisions being made by unelected folks within the executive branch rather thannups decisions being made by elected legislators. so what has congress given up? i'd like to get your sense is one what has congress given up? two is it problem what congress has given up? is that a problem for the american people and what would you do about it? go ahead. >> i'm happy to start. again, thinking about the convergence discussion, i think, yes, it is a problem. and congress has given up some of its institutional authority in all of this. for many of the reasons you just said in your question, at the end of the day we do have -- congress not frankly taking ownership of some of it oversight responsibilities and funding the government. and digging deeper. just in my limited career of little over 20 plus years i have seen that erosion time and after time where i used to be called in and talk with committee staff
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about what's going on in these programs for student financial aid. those conversations don't happen nearly as often as they used to by the appropriators or -- especially they're there isn't time because they are too busy fighting about what's going to be the next allocation, what the appropriation will be and that was a common sentiment among colleagues in the convergence better budget process dialogue. >> anybody else want to take a crack at that? >> mr. chairman, i would suggest that the congressional budget and panel control act of 1974 grew out of another crisis at that time which was president nixon impounding money, the essence of the act was the power that was being taken away from congress by his ability to impound. i think the congressional budget impoundment control act brought power back to the legitimating branch but as a it eroded over time as i say in the last 12
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years you have 3/4s of the time you haven't done what the law says you should be doing which is adopting a budget. you have given up that process. and in -- in the sense of not following through with what you, powers you have following through with consideration, you have significantly shifted the decision making away from the legislative branch to the executive branch. and that i think is a real failure of our democratic process today. >> you don't want to opine. >> no. >> i'm over time. so i -- i may come back with some more questions in a second round. but let me now recognize vice chair graves for five questions. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you to each much you for thoughts and testimony today. just a couple of questions from me. so we had the cochairs of the select committee on budget reform before us. our understanding is there was a recommendation package obviously they couldn't get the votes necessary to pass it out. is it safe to say that that pack annual of recommendations is a good foundation for this
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committee to work off of? is there any objections that you have you have scene or items that should be omitted from the package. >> i think it's a wonderful package to be working from. >> okay, great mr. owens. >> i share that sentiment. >> i have not heard criticisms that have pack annual. >> okay. we haven't either. and it's -- only in this body can you have something that people agree on that we can't pass, you know. it's amazing. but it's great we have the groungs foundation to occur work off of. i didn't real really discussion about mandatory versus discretionary spending. can we talk about that for a second? is there a need for congress to vote on mandatory spending to gain the ownership and understanding of that responsibility? mr. hoagland. >> yes, congressman, i feel strongly that the problem with having established the skaps over the last 10-year caps has
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only focused on the discretionary portion of the budget. by for the having pennsylvania budget resolution which brewedly takes in not only mandatory but revenues, you have shifted the focus only to that which the appropriation committee has jurisdiction over. that's why i think it's important to get back to adopting a budget resolves, whether bi enyum budget resolution that sets the framework and therefore dress the issues related to mandatory spending and revenues to be hospitals with you too. you're not doing that when you focus on staying within the caps. >> that's a good point. >> i just add again from the convergence project, we had that discussion. one of the principles we espoused for budget reform was the bunlt should be comprehensive. i would agree, i think on behalf of all of the participants that we envisioned this budget action plan as we called it making sure it did address the mandatory or addressing the revenues we're addressing the discretionary spending. >> and i agree.
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i have seen that the budget resolutions either party presented in the past generally have a visionary type document, not a governing document, more of a mission statement or visionary statement versus reality of what might occur or not occur. i would like to see it be more of reality that members are taking ownership of an understanding of the fiscal nature of we're dealing with as a country. and so i hope we would consider that as well as we look forward. and maybe as we think about committees wouldn't it be nice -- it was nice to hear -- i guess seeing the testimony about the bunlt committee compilation, how it would comprise a recommends on that with new members. but what if it was truly bipartisan committee, equally divided amongst both parties and the only way to pass something out is it had to be bipartisan versus other. but i'm just opining on that. ms. liverpool i'd love to have you have the opportunity to
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participate in the conversation today. you brought up something that a lot of people don't want to talk about and that's congressionally directed spending or the dreaded earmark word. help us understand, has there been any thought into what that reform might look like that would be responsible reform? i think we all know why the moratorium is in place, in that it was abused and a very negative perception by limited cases potentially that it was being abused. i don't think that abuse has been removed. it's just been shifted to another -- another area. so how might this committee consider that reform with protections in place that begin the trust of the american people? >> thanks for that question. some people in thinking about lift going the earmark moratorium has proposed different reform that is might be made to earmark. some of those might be reinstituting practices or
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formalizing practices the house observed in the mid-to late twouss. some of knows were members were required to post the earmark on their personal website and say why it was a good use of taxpayer money. there was sort of -- there is proposals for having a one stop location like a database searchable and accessible to the public where they can see the earmark requests. there have been proposals to have gao do a periodic audit of earthquake earmarks. that's on the transparency side. also limiting the purpose of earmarks and the recipient of earmarks so no earmarks for private companies no pass through earmarks no earmarks named after members of congress, sometimes sort of limiting the total spending level for earmark. no more than 1% of discretionary spending or a limit on dollar amount for any earmark. >> previously before the moratorium directed spending can go to a private entity, not just
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a governmental entity? >> that's right. >> and i would imagine most -- i mean we're both appropriators and we've never been in that environment where it kissed. i know mr. woodall -- mr. cleaver might be the oh only person on the congress that's been in congress prior to the moratorium. thank you. >> mr. pocan. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me continue on that i was at a meeting one time as a freshman and sat down with a bunch of folks and we got talking about congressionally directed spending now i guess instead of earmarks and i raised the issue how people didn't like the idea of the earmark for a bridge to to no where. the lobbyist in the room said i was the staff person who wrote that at the time. that was -- didn't go over well in that room. but other ideas for addressing this issue? because it does seem that we have -- since i've been here now fourth term, we have a remarkably hard time of doing what should be the most 101 of
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our job. and if you actually had some skin in the game rather than a bureaucrat in washington you know you're more likely to be spot supportive. any other changes people might recommend? >> when the convergence group discussed this let me note we met 14 times. this came up in the first meeting, the last meeting and several meetings in between. because many of the participants saw the appeal. you know it's sort of the grease to help move along legislation. i think ms. lynch did a great job of outlining a lot of the same things we heard in our discussion. while we didn't reach consensus on this -- and that was the threshold for our report, what we found waps there was a lot of interest that it dsh if earmarks were to come become they absolutely had to be transparent. limiting them to certain parts was a thought that a lot of people shared that way. there would be less opportunity for people to be abusive with those -- that were a lot of
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concerns in the past. that's just a flavor of the conversation we are came out. >> mr. pocan, i don't know if i have a recommendation. but i want to make an observation back to the chairman's comments about what has congress given up. it's always struck me -- and i did work for a budget committee chairman for many years but he was also an appropriator. always was bothered me when the splaner to notes came up to the apprehension committee to the executive branch, they are earmarking. they are earmarking. and you're excluded from doing that. i thought that was an unfair balance of responsibility. >> appreciate that. let me also ask the question that ms. lowey brought up and another one i always had a question on the debt ceiling. it seems like when i explain it back home they say we have appropriated the money, bought the item, written the check but we're not sure if we're dropping in the mailbox to pay it. which seems a little ill logical can you dress the debt ceiling issue? >> i dealt with -- well my time
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up here i dealt with a number of these issues. graham ruddman holgs grew out increasing statutory debt limit above $2 trillion in day of 22. i think there were recommendations that were particularly recently in the senate whereupon the adoption of a biennial bogataj you have 302 a's kick out at the same time kick out automatic increase in the statutory debt limit consistent with what's in that biennial budget. you're doling with it once and it's consistent with what you have dopted overall in terms of the bi enyum budget. >> that was absolutely the consensus view of the convergence group. to use the analogy as soon as you write the check you make a commitment call it a credit card or check or whatever. we make the commitment and shed light on that and know that you're borrowing or not. >> let me ask one outside the purview of the committee but something i often bring up and i used to be on the committee i'm not trying to trash the budget
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committee. but i don't know if i really understood the purpose of the budget committee and i was on it two sessions in the current era. is there a way to streamline the process you wouldn't have to have a budget committee? or are you all saying we need to have a budget committee? >> well our group was very tempted to recommend eliminating the budget committees for some of the reasons i think you articulate. but after we got deeper into discussions we thought it was more important for them to be- dsh for it to be strengthened and restructured in whiches that creates the buy in and leadership. so you had the chairs and ranking members, all of the committees that are authorizer or had fiscal responsibility. we could do what we talked about. make the budget comprehensive, make input and str ownership. allow it to lead. without the budget committee, whose job is it. >> mr. pocan i was a staff
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trerkt of the senate budget committee for many, many years. obviously i'm biased. and it worked early years. and largely because of what's been said. the makeup of that committee early on was to have the chairman of the apprehension committee, the ranking the amount chairman of the finance committee ranking member, those major committees of jurisdiction -- i would modify that in years in which major authorizations are coming up such as agriculture let bill. have the kmarm in that. you would make the committee a fiscal committee that would give guidance and have buy in back to the committees of jurisdiction. i can only speak for the senate. i will not -- i'll be fair and stay away from commenting on the house budget committee. but in the senate, that -- that for political purposes that was change over time making it less effective long-term. i would go back to restructuring the committee back to fiscal people involved in the design. and i think it's stsh -- you still need a big blueprint.
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you need to have not just discretionary. you need to to have the apprehensions mandatory spending and revenues as a total picture. you can't do it without the total picture. >> i would just add that for most of congress's history there wrant house and senate budget committees. the purpose of the committees was that other statute committees that vircks over programs but there wasn't a asks committee with jurisdiction over the bunlt as a whole and the committee were created to be enforcers of the budget resolution and budget rules. >> thank you very much process. i went over time. appreciate it. >> thank you. next up, mr. woodall. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm i think thissing about the time lines. it seems like we got a two-ier budget deal in february of 2018 which gave us full seven months before the end of the fiscal year. and we were the most successful congress in the last 17 years and only got 5 out of 12 done.
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and yes when we were on the -- on the joint select committee we tried to move those time lines around. tell me why particularly from the convergence recommendation we're going to do this right out of the gate. i have all the freshman just elected making all sorts of promises. the first vote in congress is to do at two-year deal on issues that they don't yet understand, automatically raise the debt limit they promised not to do and on and on and on. why is it the first year of the two-year congress that we're all focused on passing budgets resolutions whether they be one-ier or two-year resolution f2 we're doing a two-year resolution why is that the second year of the congress when folks have their feet wet and can get us through what were sometimes sticky election years, where politicking come in more than normal? mr. owens? >> thanks for that question. we in fact did wrestle with that
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question. a couple thoughts come to mind from our discussion. one is we thought about binding the next congress. and that gave some people some hesitations. but as we thought about it our -- all of our proposals, the five consensus proposals be are meant to complement each other. this is where the proposal for the fiscal state of the nation is really important. our theory was if we have a better informed budget process, and that fiscal state of the nation report is coming out during the presidential election cycles, not only are presidential candidates paying attention to it, members of congress who are rerunning, candidates all have this same informing. they'll already be thinking about the bunlt. couple that with a restructured budge committee where you have leadership from fair various committees all in that committee all informed that they could start -- at the start of a new congress hit the ground running. when the fiscal nation report wasn't coming out because that would be every four years you
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have the long-term gar reviews looking at poefrmt pl there is a constant flow of information at the right time of the decision making. we thought that would help move things along at the beginning of the new congress. >> well, i support a stronger budget committee. that's what we had in '74. as it turns out what's the devote quote i'm going to use budgeting is governing and governing is challenging. we had -- in fact reconciliation was coming around every september to see to say if you didn't get it right the first six months we're bringing in the hammer to get it right. of course we're already binding future congresss because i'm supposed to finish my work by september 30th, binding the future congress all the way through to the next september 30th if they don't change it. mr. hoagland, what -- you weren't the staff director on the budget committee during the eight years where no budgets were passed on the senate side. i've often wondered what -- in the place where institutional
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knowledge and i would argue passion resides, the budget process has failed more regular rgly than on the house side. as we think about strengthening the process, if i can't strengthen it with the folks with six year terms and long institutional memories, how in the world is that plan going to stick long-term? >> i don't know if i have a good answer to you. the senate is evolved too, changed dramatically. i will say the first time i was involved with not getting a budget resolution conference agreement was after a major shutdown in 1995, 1996, the first marng ones. and we had crisis back then and finally came back together and finally toopted a balanced budget groept in 1997. with all due respect to my friend the former chairman of house budget president mr. kasich he was running for president and had no desire to put forth a budget resolution thattier. and that's why it was the first
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time we were all-in-one unable -- all comes back to politics at that point, unfortunately. i don't know that we can change the -- the system here the way that would assure it. but it was working back in those days with leadership. and i think leadership both in the committees both apprehensions and budgets and major funding ways means and finance and that's what you need here. you need buy in from the leadership to get this thing to work. >> ms. lynch, thinking about efforts to try to achieve some of those goals, it seems a little odd to me that we talk about strengthening the budget committee in the same way -- the same brepgt we talk about having the budget committee meet less off oh of then a do less work. but if it's seriouswork it has a lasting effect. as we think about reforms the congress look at historically. do you see that regularly we are going to -- we're going to strengthen and do less as opposed to we are going to try
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to do more? >> some proposals i have seen that speak to the contradiction are the ideas that maybe you want to have a budget committee that just has a -- maybe altered membership. many have proposed having sort of- it be a leadership committee to you have the buy in on the committee, the budget committee is not doing the work and doing the resolution and don't have the support of the chamber. >> as a nine-year member i will remind my colleagues we have members from the ways and means and appropriations committee. we did he involved to having the enthusiastic freshen from the committees to serve. i yield back. >> thanks very much. mr. cleaver. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. ms. lynch mentioned some of the things that we should think about and thap i also think she said -- and i -- i was here so i
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remember -- almost everything you said was the practice when earmarks was discontinued. you have to put it on the website, you have to sign an affidavit saying that this is not going to your cousin bill. it couldn't go to a corporation all those things we had in place. so the missouri delegation we have lunch each month. every one of us -- all eight of us rather said we are going to say out publicly that we support earmarks or whatever you want to call it. but here -- here is where things bump heads. the confluence between politics and constitution. and it's this -- what happens is -- well, first of all in the media. the media said senator stevens is trying to build a bridge to no where. it was not true.
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he was trying to build a bridge to a small island. that only had i think about 5 a people on it, something like that. most people think that you know there was no destination for the bridge justabling a bridge. i want not true. so the argument could have been are we spending too much money for that size population? it's a legitimate argument. unless your grandma lived on the island and couldn't get on the ferry in the winter and make it to the mainland to go to the hospital, which was the issue. and so public doesn't know anything. they actually dsh gosh to any town and said bridge to no where they think it was a bridge to no where. there's an indiana yun pronunciation i can't pronounce the name of the island. the press jumped in and we started doing it for political reasons. the thing is i don't know if -- i don't know if we're going to
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be able to -- you know, the -- i think right now the constitution is experiencing a stress test. and it didn't start with the current president. it started with you know long before. we haven't declared war since 1945. and we have had 118,000 americans killed in war since then. and congress just sits on its hands and we let it take place. and then what happens is the partisanship gets in the way. when president obama stood up at his third or fourth state of the union and said i will sign no bills that have earmarks in them and i publicly criticized him and said, you know, you don't have that power. and then some democrats said you can't do that. this is the president.
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well he was wrng. we know he was wrng. we can't criticize. what has happened is the party that's in power in the white house they'll go along with the extraction of -- of the constitutionally awarded power of the house we give it away bus nobody wants to criticize the president if he or she is one of them. and that's how it has eroded. president obama said i'm not signing any bills. we should have stood up, everybody that -- and said no this is wrong you can't do it. but we didn't do it. and so now we assume we are not supposed to do it. and so you got politics. you got the press. and you got you know this political stuff that says, we don't criticize someone in our own party. so can we actually deal with
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this issue you know in erms it of some kind of legislation? i don't think so. i think it's an issue of the heart and the mind and the -- that we have to deal with on whether or not it's right and wrong. and right now we're in this position because every president for probably the last 5 a years has taken just a little and a little and a little and a little. and we're going to rue the day when -- when we wick up one morning and find out we only have two branchs of government. . we're barely three right now. i didn't intend to go off. but you know, i'm furious about this stuff because we -- we are giving it away. and we're watching it. we're watching it in realtime. and you know we have a bridge in kansas city. i was mayor i was pushing name
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it kit bond. i talked to him last friday. senator bond never asked anybody to do that. i mean, and so because we needed it desperately i thought i'm the mayor of in town. it ought to be kit bond. i mean, we're going to name it george bread, or after the quarterback, glenn dawson? anyway, thank you. >> i'd invite any of you to respond if you care to, please. you got to hit the button again, sorry. >> one quick observation and that is there is legislation in the senate right now which i do not know if it's in the house it's called article 1 legislation that deals with the declaration of an emergency that the president used recently for the purposes of shifting that money. and give the power back. that's -- in fact i think it was introduced in the senate by of all people senator cruz from
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texas in a bipartisan manner. i would suggest you start looking at that kind of legislation as bipartisan to take back some the of the power that you should not be giving up at all. >> mr. timens. >> thank you for taking the time to testify before in committee. it's been a recarding process i'm honored to be part of it. one think i was going to ask ms. lynch was debt to gdp ratio included in any of the joint committee recommendation. >> that was something that the committee debated and considered. the idea that you would have some kind of fiscal target that was part of a great deal are great deal of the conversation. i think ultimately a decision was made to make it more about budget process reform than budget reform. that being said the optional path for special procedures in the senate that include a debt to -- the resolution would establish a debt to gdp ratio and a glide path.
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>> thank you. mr. hoagland, we -- earlier i think that you were asked if a two-ier budget would be more politically manageable than two one-year budgets. what was your answer to that? did you -- >> well i think it's difficult first of all the one-ier budget is not working, obviously. so i think it's worth of a effort to do bi enyum budgeting where i have some difference of opinion with the joint select committee's recommendation is, i feel like you ought to budget for two years and appropriate for two years. not appropriate every year after the buy enyum. that's my only critique of the jint selection committee recommendation. now, the argument owls comes back but things are changing. well, yes they changed but at least set two years budget and
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appropriate for two years. and if you need supplementals add the supplemental in the second session. but i think if you go two-year buy enyum bunlting you should do bi enyum appropriators also. >> i would grow with you. but i lts ham a pragmaticist. is the current system better than one year budget two-year appropriations? is it better than nothing? >> no, i -- i think -- i don't lake the current system. i don't think it's performed. i feel like it's been -- not the way it should operate. one year budget and one-ier appropriations is not working. it's delaying. i would go to a two-year process. i really would. >> then i believe the last year there were 237 people that
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cosponsored a bill in the house to get that passed. but it was never considered largely because of the challenge with the appropriations committee wanting to do appropriations every year. so i guess i've just kind of said -- one of the things we talk about on the committee a lot is take whatever you can and not have a fight over whatever is left. if we can all agree and if there is no opposition to a two-year budget, one year appropriations schedule, i guess i'm just kind of saying let's start somewhere. and come back for something else later. >> i now understand your question. yes, this is a start. a start, a two-ier bumgt and if you have to annual appropriations go ahead. but i would hope eventually you move to both two year budge and two-year appropriations. but it's worth a start. >> okay. thank you. miss lynch can you discuss the last time mayorum changes were made to the budget process? historically. >> so i'd say that every
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congress there are rules adopted into the house rules package that have some effect on the budget process. i'd say the last significant one would be the budget control act of 2011 that created the joint select -- the joint committee on deficit reduction and discretionary spending caps. >> thank you. debt to gdp ratio, finishing up, is this something that y'all would be in favor of int corporating into the conversation and making it a part of the process? or is that not something is that you think is an important step in the right direction? >> so our group wrestled with that metric. and again for us it was more about process than an outcome. and that is information that should be brought into the process but to mandate it as being part of the process to achieve a specific outcome is where we couldn't achieve consensus because people have differing views about different economic conditions. it needs to be part of the
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discretion but not necessarily part of the process. >> you would be in favor of mandating it be a part of discussion at least, just to be part of the report as delivered to the different committees. >> i'm not sure our group would say mandate it. i think it's going to happen naturally through that. better information in the process is critical so that you all can make the best informed stigss you can. but this if that becomes impediment because you mandate it has to be part of the process, that can be a distraction. it might break the norm in terms of what -- or set a new norm you don't want where there is true disagreement with how to interpret that metric whether you think it's high, low or how it should be interpreted to make policy. >> today the debt to gdp ratio is about 70%. >> 78. >> 78. historically averaging around 40%. we have gone through a number of exercises in terms of bringing that down. i can tell you given the demographics that mandatory is
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what you have already locked in as spending going forward. i tell you it's very difficult even to hold at 70% with what the decisions you would have to make. so it's back to the issue of recognizing that if you set that percentage to gdp you better be prepared for some very difficult decisions up here both on the spending side and on the revenue side. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. newhouse. >> mr. chairman, thank you for being here and kricontributing the important discussion. some of us many of us kwom from state government. and i don't know if ever state does but most states use biennial budgets, 20s. not most but a lot do. federal government seems larger more complex expecting to get the work done in a matter of months versus a couple years is unrealistic in my view.
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i appreciate your contributing to this important discussion on how can we make in process better. one -- i'm in my third term. i got to tell you i think everybody in congress understands for the most part the significance of the debt that we face and the how unsustainable this is. one of the biggest things that i have heard ever since i got here was we can't do a whole lot about it with only 30% of the budget. there is the mandatory versus discretionary spending question is one that's just been a really difficult obstacle in order for us to get our fiscal house in order. so i guess i would like all of you to -- if you have some thoughts about how we could
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crack that nut and how we could move forward in this discussion so that we have better control over our spending and our revenue. i know politically it's a minefield. it's a difficult thing. . but it seems to me that if we are ever going to get our arms around this we have to address it. and so in the short amount of time we have, is there -- i know mr. hoagland in your testimony that i was unable to listen to firsthand but reading there was an effort of domeneci riff lynn report that mentioned this so maybe start with you. >> thank you, congressman. yes the domeneci riff lynn had ten major recommendations. first of all. biennial budgeting and appropriating but also to do the total budget as you say not just
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folk on one third. we did talk about what congressman tiemons was talk bag, setting some goal, having congress agree to a gel not necessarily a constitutional amendment for balanced budget but the goal of reducing the debt to gdp to a fixed number. if you were to do that and make that law and consequences of not hitting those numbers something like it didn't work oh out the way we thought it would like graham ruddman holgs that there are serious consequences of not meeting the goals. i think that's a way of making the process stronger is to do what mr. tiemons suggested here is to set a goal, five years, ten years, 15 years out where we hit the target. we'll force you to look not just at discretionary spending it will force you to look at the total budget. >> i'd add again from the convergence group perspective, that leads towards an outso we
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didn't get deep into it. you asked what can you do? that's the point. reform the process so the process works so you can actually have that discussion. year after year after year after year. because if you're not asking the discussion year after year in a way that leads to a policy outcome you're punning, you're punting every time. that was our perspective. and, again, we are talking about groups here that are -- very right leaning to left leaning and some in the middle. process we could all come around. if we can fix the process you can take on a big major issue such has that regardless of perspective and how much debt we shall have. >> ms. lynch. >> i would just say i think it's a great point. most people think of the budget process as an abel process when in reality about 7 oh% of the budget is actually fixed. so i think that it could be helpful to look at the 80s and 90s when the 80s and 90s, the idea was that you would use a budget resolution to look at discretionary spending but also look at mandatory spending and
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revenues. you would look at that as a whole and look at what would be an appropriate amount for a deficit. and then congress would use the budget resolution and then trigger the budget reconciliation process and use the budget reconciliation process to make changes to mandatory spending and revenue in a way that would be projected to reduce the deficit. and so knows tools are still available to congress. and you know, i just think the '80s and '90s are a god example because you had the chambers controlled by different parties. the branchs of government controlled by different parties appear they were still utilizing those tools. >> and i just add to that. because that's exactly -- no surprise coming from the bipartisan policy center that this means both sides giving up something. i lose my credentials as a republican staffer. but i say revenues have to be on the table. i don't think you can all do this on the spending side on the mandatory side or discretionary side to get to anywhere close to reducing the debt to gdp figure.
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>> again, i appreciate you -- your input on this very important topic. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i want to pull in a couple of other threads. it is difficult to explain the insplikable to my constituents when the budget and appropriations process goes off the rails. you know, going to a coast guard base where they were exception donations of food because they had gone five weeks during the last shutdown was just sick. and it's striking to me that when they're -- when the process goes off the rails the pain is felt by constituents. and which qb you know, the tattoo that each of us on this committee has on our arms now is fix this so that congress works better for the american people. i find myself worning how do you get out of this box? and some of it's through process
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reforms. i guess i want to pull a little bit -- mr. hoagland you ms. henninged and mr. owens you said there was consideration of look at incentives and disincentives. we grappled with that on the last select committee because, you know, to some degree, you know, congress generally finds its way out of every mouse trap. if you set a rule it can waive it. things like no budget no pay no budget no recess. those were rejected even though there was some bipartisan support for those ideas. you mentioned the -- you know, the incentive path, an expedited path in the senate. any -- what are we not thinking of? are there other threads to pull on there? either on the incentive, disincentive, so that, you know -- it's striking because this is just about congress doing its damn job. it's painful that we have to have the conversation. there a forcing function to get congress to do its job?
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>> i -- again, thank you, mr. chairman. one of the proposals that i have warmed up to over the years is -- is if you can't get your work done by the beginning -- for knows constituents for the coast guard constituents out there, an automatic cr upon farl to reach that point it's automatically a continuation. you don't have to pass another cr it's automatic. the incentive -- the criticism of course is that those who want to hold down spending say always have an automatic cr. well i would make it such that over a certain period of time that that automatic cr starts to reduce putting pressure back on to you get work done. but keep government funded at some level to avoid the issues that you have of government shutdown. >> i'd add as the convergence
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group wrestled with this. this was a significant part of our discussion. multiple meetings. of the 14 i would say half of those we were talking about incentives or sticks, carrots or sticks in one fashion or form. the conversation about earmarks was part of that. is that a potential incentive if you were to bring those back. we didn't think so. but ultimately i think where we came out is that there is so many things you could do, no budget, no pay, we talked about no budget, no fund raising. we kept coming back to one point that is the ultimate incentive that all of you have are elections. so pain is going to be there. you have to face the music. if you get the budget done you're going to face the praise. and time and time again, so again, the which we thought about it is better information, really putting this on the consciousness of the american people. putting the it forward. and you if you can come up with
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your own rules because you understand each other better than wektd about this is withy incentivizes to get thework dup or punish us in a way that creates so much pain among ourselves that we'll do it. we thought that really is rest best to your hands. >> ms. liverpool is there anything on the menu we haven't talked about? >> i'd said that obviously the different budget process proposals that are out there that are many, and broad, don't -- i think that in thinking about this -- i know you are thinking about this what is the problem? what's driving the problem? any reform proposals would of course be related to what it is that people believe is the problem. >> can can i ask mr. owen us mentioned the fiscal provision about around the state of the nation. i wanted you to speak more to that. that's sort inform a revised way the jount select committee passed a representation on with unanimous support. but can you speak to that and what value see in that specific
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reform? >> thank you. this one generated a lot of discussion among the convergence group. again, the principle being having a very informed budget. sort of like great information as exactly the right time in the process would really really help. and it would be sort of the seminole document so it's not you just you receive the medicare trustee report, the social security robert, the cbos for this. it's all packaged in one place. constituents get to see it. all of you as policy makers get to see it. and if the way we envisioned it, if it had that strength and simplicity to convey complex information, this is something the media would pick up and anticipate it every year. in the townhall meetings, in your election debates, in the presidential debates, questions are going to be asked. what's your plan for what is the fiscal state of the nation and time and time again folks will be on the hook to have to be
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able to respond to that in a way. we were encouraged by what the joint select committee did in terms of thinking about in a hearing context seminole moments thagt information all in one place and really raise the american consciousness about this and policy makers consciousness we think will be a net positive to the process. >> mr. woodall. >> mr. chairman with our institutionalist there on the panel. mr. hoagland you're brodied with that responsibility. there is a difference to me between producing all of that information and if i'm aggressive i can find all of that information as i sit here here today. we see it on the budget committee in various forms. but the bill is as it was introduced by my colleagues in the 110th congress is to have the comptroller come to congress and present it. i put that in the same capturing as sticks. i've already -- i've been elected. i'm supposed to be doing my job. to have an unelected person comen a stand in the house chamber and chastise me more not
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doing my job. i don't know how that advances the process. is -- from an institutional perspective, is there -- is there merit in having the unelected come and make that pitch? or would you target your sticks elsewhere? >> first of all, i think having information, god information is always helpful. as you say quite frankly with all due respect, the information is out there. you can get the information if you need it. you know the issues. you you've heard it. you don't need a cbo director or gao director coming and tell you. you know the issues. with all did you respect i'm fine with giving more information. but i don't think that changes things that much. i think you really need something that's harder than just here is the information and chastise you and you have a red face if you don't follow through. i don't see that's changing anything out there fundamentally in terms of your decision making process. i would have much harder sticks. i would -- i would have an
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automatic cr that cuts if you are not getting the work done and really have pain back on you. >> mr. clarm, interesting to have a discussion about how to inform our -- our bosses as aggressively as we're informing ourselves. i appreciate the converges vergeens group we are there to thele bums out every two years if they're not doing their job and if we're no the getting the right information out to the folks making the decisions in november perhaps -- there is ways we could do a better job of that as well. i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'll just mention, we thought about in the last select committee some discussion about the auto cr. those one of those where my opinion changed the more i thought about it. because, again, there is sort of unintended consequences no matter which direction you go, right? there is a potential unintended consequence again if you do an auto cr with as you suggest a
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deflater, if -- that may serve the interests of some to just never pass a budget or real apprehensions became. you could do with it inflitter that would serve the purpose of others to never pass the apprehensions bill. so i think it's tricky. >> miss delbene. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for being here to our witnesses for being here. i'm sorry i'm joining you a little lit. i just came from another hearing. but, you know, i know some have talked about this a little bit before. we were definitely founded as a country on the idea of making sure we have a separation of powers. our three branchs of government over the years, congress has provided, i believe too much discretion to the executive branch it to carry out our laws. it's been a convenient tool for the -- for administration after administration that allows the
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folks to not have to work with congress, power can be misused for their own agenda. so according to the brennan center for justice there are currently 123 statutes that enable the president to make policy in particular areas without policy in particular areas without going through ordinary law making processes. i feel it's imperative and a priority of our select committee to figure out how we make sure that we take back congress' legitimate powers. the legislative branch over the purse strings is over the executive branch. miss lynch, it to ask you, what do you think are some of congress' options to make sure that we restore that power that we've left go. >> what i can say about that, i think, is that many people have argued that new budget process
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components that have been implemented in the last few decades have given more power to the executive. the act limited but the president's money but some argued it gave the executive permission to withhold the money. sequestration people pointed toby giving more power to the executive and then some have argued the elimination of earmarks instead put that power with the administration. so, i guess i would say that looking at some of those issues and thinking about maybe how to reform those. >> but if we look more broadly in term of those specifics and if anyone else has feedback too, there's those specific issues but i think there is operational efforts and maybe you've talked about these a little bit already that we need to do so that we're
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also making sure things are moving and making the decisions we need to make in a timely fashion. yes. >> congresswoman, when you were out i suggested that there's a legislation called article i which would restore the national security declaration. i have another suggestion you might want to think about that you make the law specific that no rescissions can be made prior to 60-day before the end of the year. we had a situation where there was effectively the president could submit rescissions that you wouldn't have an opportunity to act on. >> and, on a slightly different note, what do you think this
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select committee's biggest takeaway should be away from the joint select committee's work? >> so, as representative from crs we obviously don't make policy recommendations. some of the takeaways for myself observe that committee you really did see some-odd bed fellows in terms of bicameral relationships. >> anyone else have opinions on that too? >> i think the biggest takeaway is biannual budgeting has a lot of residence in both chambers, both party. there was a recognition we could do better with respect to informing policymakers and the public. lastly that there are some
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change that could be made to strengthen its hand in order to lead the process. >> thank you. just about out of time. thank you, mr. chair mapp. i yield back. >> mr. cleaver? >> it's called the grenada island bridge. in ketchikan, alaska. >> with that clarification i want to thank 0-witnesses for their testimony today. i want to give knowledge and give gratitude to the committee staff for the hard work they do in putting together these hearings, and as well to the appropriations committee for letting us use their glorious room. without objection, all members will have five legislative days to submit questions to be
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forward to the witnesses for their response. i ask our witnesses to respond as quickly as you're able. without objection all legislative members will have five days to add other materials into the record. with that this hearing is adjourned. thanks, everybody.
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voter voters. c-span's campaign 2020 coverage continues. today at 6:00 p.m. live on c-span, elizabeth warren holds a town hall in norfolk, virginia. live saturday at 1:00 p.m. eastern, senator bernie sanders had a bernie is back rally in new york city. watch on c-span any time on and listen wherever you are using the free c-span radio app.
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facebook ceo and co-founder mark zuckerberg was the next week about his company's libra crypto currency project. we'll take questions from members of the house financial services committee. that's live wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span 3. a reminder can you also watch online at or listen with the free c-span radio app. the family research council held its annual values voter summit last week. among the speakers were north carolina republican congressman mark meadows, usaid administrator mark green and he is basston gorka, former deputy assistant to president trump. ♪ welcome to the 2019 values voter


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