WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a senior member of the Budget Committee, is an original co-sponsor of legislation introduced today to reform Congress’ broken budgeting process.  The bipartisan Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act would convert Congress’ annual appropriations process to a two-year budget cycle, with one year for appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted to oversight of federal programs.

“Washington has been off track, spending too much and putting too many programs on auto-pilot,” Grassley said.  “Wherever I can, I plan to work on legislation to help fix what’s broken.   This bill will accomplish two things. We’ll accomplish longer-term policy so people know more what’s down the road two years instead of one year, and second, we’re going to emphasize oversight which Congress doesn’t do enough of.  We ought to offer scrutiny and not just rubber-stamp what the Administration proposes or the same spending levels from the year before.”

The legislation requires the President to submit a two-year budget at the beginning of the first session of a Congress. Members of Congress would then need to adopt a two-year budget resolution, a reconciliation bill if necessary and two-year appropriations bills during that first session. The second session of a Congress would then be devoted to the consideration of authorization bills and oversight of federal programs.

The biennial budgeting concept has been endorsed by Republican and Democratic presidents, as well as by numerous federal budget experts.  Twenty states operate under a biennial budgeting cycle.

The bill was introduced today with 22 bipartisan co-sponsors.