- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2013

Sen. Harry Reid, who heads a Democratic-controlled Senate that hasn’t passed a budget in more than three years, says bringing forth a tax-and-spend plan each year — as required — is too hard.

Better, he said, would be to change the requirement. Switch to a two-year budget plan, Mr. Reid said, in a Roll Call report. And his plan has gathered bipartisan steam.

“This has been something that has been looked at by a lot of people. We have had, over the years, many people who’ve said that this is probably a good idea,” Mr. Reid said, in the Roll Call report. “And if we were ever going to do that, we should take a look at it now because we’re getting back into the appropriations process.”

Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson joined with Democrat Jeanne Shaheen to bring forth a bill to switch Congress onto two-year budget cycle. They see it as a solution to budget impasses on Capitol Hill.

“We can’t fix our debt and deficits until we fix our budget process, and biennial budgeting is a smart way to move forward,” said Ms. Shaheen, in Roll Call. “Biennial budgeting will help remove uncertainty that currently blunts economic growth but will also give us a better opportunity to exercise oversight and rein in excess spending.”

Republican Joe Wilson introduced a companion measure in the House, which now has several cosponsors.

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“Moving from a one-year to a two-year budget process will allow Congress to devote more time and attention to the wasteful programs and policies that need reform,” Mr. Wilson said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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