Congress just passed a bipartisan bill to fund much of the government to a tune of $854 billion. I voted for it in order to avert a partial government shutdown and because the bill funds American taxpayers' priorities--most importantly, a pay raise for troops and money to rebuild our armed forces.
But despite securing these priorities, people across the political spectrum say this process of having single up-or-down votes on packages of spending bills "stinks."
As legislators, we hold the purse strings under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. In fact, approving funding and providing federal government oversight are among our most fundamental constitutional duties; however, the budget process is so broken it forces us into an annual government funding showdown where both parties leverage impending crises to score political points.
This budget mess is becoming too toxic, and Congress needs to start cleaning it up.
To fix the process itself, we must update the outdated Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act of 1974 (also known as the Budget Act), which is the framework we work within to exercise our Article I power of the purse. There are few incentives in the current process for the government to run on a timely, realistic budget that puts the American people first.