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Washington Should Pursue Clean Appropriations Bills

Nov 13, 2019 | Budgets & Projections

For Immediate Release

Senior appropriators confirmed yesterday their plan to pass a second continuing resolution for fiscal year 2020, extending the deadline to pass appropriations bills from November 21 to December 20, 2019. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

We are glad the government is unlikely to shut down this month, but Washington just can’t seem to get its act together when it comes to passing appropriations. The $1.7 trillion Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 was supposed to clear the way for an easy appropriations process, but now we’re talking about a second continuing resolution. How many times are policymakers going to keep kicking this can down the road?

Even if we agree to appropriations this December, we worry the cost will be high. There is already talk of loading up an omnibus spending bill with new spending increases and tax cuts that would add anywhere from $135 billion to $2.2 trillion more to the debt. In an era of trillion-dollar deficits, this kind of Christmas-tree legislation is totally unacceptable. 

This is no way to govern. Congress and the President need to come to the table like adults and agree on clean appropriations bills to fund government without attaching unrelated budget-busters. And ultimately, we need to fix the federal budget process – including by adopting reforms like those proposed by Senators Enzi and Whitehouse – so we don’t continue cycling through this broken process year after year.  

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For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at tomchik@crfb.org