Measures on Biennial Budgeting and Corporate Subsidies Approved

Washington, DC–The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee yesterday approved for full Senate consideration two reform measures. The first, S. 261, is a measure that would provide for a biennial budget and appropriations process which would reduce the amount of time spent on the budget process and provide more time for program oversight and reviewing the performance of the federal government.

The second proposal approved by the Committee was S. 207, which would establish a nine-member independent commission to identify federal subsidies to profit-making industries. It also would establish Congressional procedures to consider the Commission’s proposal.

“I am delighted that the Members of the Committee supported these two important proposals,” Committee Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) said. “Senator Domenici’s measure, which I co-sponsored, establishes a two-year budget cycle which would have the important result of providing Congress more time to oversee and evaluate existing programs and find out what is working and what is not. Congress should not just rely on good intentions when it passes new measures, but we also should make sure that the laws we write actually work.

“Senator McCain’s measure (S. 207), which I’ve also co-sponsored, should result in reducing corporate pork and makes it clear that Congress and the President are serious about correcting a system which Americans see as helping most those with access and influence, rather than serving the larger public good. I do not believe we should require less of business than we ask of all Americans. It is a matter of fairness and shared sacrifice. At a time when the national debate is focused on getting control of the budget, we cannot afford to provide corporate subsidies which undermine our efforts and which distort the free market.”

The Committee also approved two surplus property donation bills, HR 680 and the Senate companion (S. 307), as well as the nominations of David Barram to be Administrator of the General Services Administration, and Mary Ann Gooden Terrell to be Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.