Two U.S. senators are calling on Congress to adopt a technique used by some state legislatures: biennial budgeting. Earlier this week, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) earlier this week sent a letter to the deficit super committee, urging it to consider implementing a two-year federal budget process.
Their thinking is that if Congress only has to debate the budget every two years instead of annually (or more frequently than that, as of late), it can devote more time to oversight.
“A two-year budget cycle would allow Congress to dedicate every other year to reviewing these authorizations,” the senators wrote. “At the same time, this legislation would make federal agencies more efficient by allowing them to devote less time to the budget process and more time to doing their jobs.”
Isakson introduced a biennial budget proposal earlier this year.
According to the senators, since 1980, Congress has only twice completed the entire appropriations process before the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.