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ATLANTA – A Senate committee today passed legislation that adopts a biennial budgeting approach championed by U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., to fix Washington’s broken budget process.

Today’s passage of the Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act, S.2765, by the Senate Budget Committee includes a biennial budgeting concept similar to the bipartisan budget reform legislation Isakson and Shaheen reintroduced in January.

“I appreciate the Senate Budget Committee’s endorsement of our proposal to reform our budget process and make it more efficient,” said Isakson. “More than ever, we must do all we can to ensure an on-time budget cycle, remove political deadlines, provide meaningful review and certainty to programs funded by the federal government, and focus the attention of Congress on the need for long-term fiscal sustainability.”

“Biennial budgeting would enable Congress to have a more bipartisan, transparent and effective budget process,” said Shaheen. “This type of budgeting works in New Hampshire and it can work for the nation. I’m very pleased to see the Senate Budget Committee approve legislation that mirrors my bill with Senator Isakson to prioritize a two-year budget approach, and I look forward to seeing this proposal move forward in Congress.”

Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Budget Reform Act passed by the Senate Budget Committee today.

In addition to converting the budget process to a two-year cycle, the legislation introduced by Isakson and Shaheen, the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, S.284, would also convert the appropriation of federal dollars to a two-year process with one year devoted to appropriations and the other year devoted to oversight of federal programs. Isakson and Shaheen said the measure passed today is an important step toward that goal.

Background:
The biennial budgeting concept has been endorsed by Republican and Democratic presidents, as well as by numerous federal budget experts. Isakson has supported biennial budgeting proposals every year since he joined the Senate in 2005, while Shaheen has firsthand experience with the efficacy of biennial budgeting from her tenure as governor of New Hampshire, which operates on a two-year budget cycle. Nineteen states operate under a biennial budgeting cycle.

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