Blue Dog Endorsed Legislation Comes Before House Budget Committee

Sep 25, 2008
Press Release
Shuler bill aimed at addressing long-term fiscal challenges

Today, members of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition applauded Chairman John Spratt for bringing H.Res. 484, Blue Dog-endorsed legislation aimed at strengthening and increasing the transparency of the budget process, before a House Budget Committee hearing to examine budget reform proposals for the 111th Congress.  The Blue Dogs have long pushed H.Res. 484 as a responsible and necessary approach to reforming the budget process so that the Congress maintains a high standard of fiscal discipline.

H.Res. 484, introduced by Blue Dog member Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina, takes important steps to ensure members of Congress are fully informed of the cost implications of every bill that comes to the House floor.  Not only does this measure ensure that members have a sufficient amount of time to properly examine legislation and determine its actual cost, it also requires that a full Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate accompany any bill or conference report that comes to the House floor.

“It is critical that we implement comprehensive budget reform legislation next Congress so that members are provided with the necessary tools to make smart, informed decisions about legislation that will affect the long-term economic health of this country,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications.  “Years of fiscal mismanagement by this administration have done severe damage to our economy, and we have a moral obligation to restore fiscal discipline and integrity to the federal government.  H.Res. 484 takes a critical step toward accomplishing this goal.” 

“I was honored to support many of the ethics reforms passed in the 110th Congress,” said Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC), Blue Dog member and leading sponsor of H.Res. 484.  “However, I am disappointed that regardless of which party is in control of Congress, Members are still expected to vote on important and costly legislation with little to no time to review it.  We owe it to our colleagues in this institution and to the American people to open up the budget process.  This will provide an unprecedented level of clarity and honesty in the legislative process.”

“Given our $9.6 trillion national debt, the long-term fiscal challenges that our country faces and the need that exists for Congress to institute budget enforcement tools that will help get federal spending under control, I’m pleased that the House Budget Committee will be holding this important hearing,” said Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy and a member of the House Budget Committee.  “In addition to tools like pay-as-you-go and spending caps that helped Congress restore fiscal sanity in the 1990s, it is critical that Congress also consider other reforms that improve the availability of information, increase the focus on long-term imbalances, ensure that there is time for costly bills to be given proper consideration, and improve committee oversight.”