House Republicans Pressure Leadership for Full Debate on Budget Bills

Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 11:04 AM

By Melanie Batley

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More than 80 House Republicans have signed a letter pressuring their leadership to return to the regular budget process through committees rather than producing one stopgap spending bill after another to keep the government running.

The letter being circulated by Georgia Rep. Tom Graves calls on House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to abandon the stopgap, or continuing resolution (CR) process, as it's called, for a return to the regular order of approving separate appropriations bills for each government department, Politico reports.

“Continually governing by CR wastes money, creates massive inefficiencies, and can weaken our national security,” Graves wrote in the letter signed dozens of his GOP colleagues. “This is exactly opposite of the good government initiatives and reforms each of us promised our constituents.

"Rather than negotiating yet another Continuing Resolution at the last minute, the Appropriations process should work as it was originally designed, with Appropriations bills passing the House and the Senate and being signed into law by the President, after robust debate, with a process for amendments.”

But in the current highly-partisan atmosphere of Congress, the regular legislative process, where each chamber debates the individual bills, can lead to endless debate and in the end produce nothing. That's been the case for the past four years, as the so-called CR has emerged as the primary — and quite often the last-minute — tool used to fund the government.

The government is operating now on a CR funding measure, which expires on Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. Congress has begun its budget process for the 2014 fiscal year, but there's no guarantee that all the work will be completed in regular order before the start of the new year on Oct. 1.

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