Daily Press: Rigell makes plea for traditional budgeting
As the U.S. House nears a vote on a stopgap funding measure that could allow Congress to avoid a government shutdown, Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Virginia Beach, says lawmakers should swear off similar measures moving forward and get back to more traditional budgeting.
The federal budget is typically split into 12 separate appropriations categories, including transportation, defense and agriculture. In the past, a dozen appropriations bills would work their way through the House and Senate and make up a budget.
More recently, political stalemates have resulted in last-second continuing resolutions that have kept the lights on temporarily until the money runs out and Congress is back at the brink. Rigell says that cycle has to stop.
"There is universal agreement that funding the federal government with Continuing Resolutions damages the economy and our nation's military, yet they are now seen as acceptable if not inevitable," Rigell wrote in a letter to House GOP leaders.
The upcoming continuing resolution vote, set for Friday, he continued, "is a perfect legislative vehicle to advance our shared goal of returning to regular order."
Rigell requested that language be added to the continuing resolution that would bar Congress from taking off more than five days at a time until the 12 appropriations bills are passed.
He said the five-day recess limit wouldn't count weekends or national holidays.
Rigell first introduced the "Govern Before Going Home" resolution in January. The measure was bottled up in the House Rules Committee.
It was co-sponsored by three Republicans in March: Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Ill.; Reid Ribble, R-Wisc.; and Ron DeSantis, R-Fla.
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