Republicans to Shake Up Appropriations Process

Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) wants to do some “slicing and dicing” to the House Appropriations process. I like the “tone” and the confidence that other Republicans seem to have that Boehner can make this happen.

The goal is to move GOP and Democrat fossils out of their comfort zone and force transparency department by department, and debate the merits of the money being spent:

House Republicans are devising a plan to simplify spending decisions by considering government funding bills on a department-by-department basis in the new Congress, according to Republican insiders.

The move would facilitate cutbacks in government programs and, GOP aides say, enhance oversight and accountability for individual agencies, fulfilling promises made by Republicans on the campaign trail and in their Pledge to America. But it would also threaten to complicate an already tattered appropriations process on the House floor and in negotiations with the Senate, which is why the mechanics of the transition are still under discussion.

In a speech to the American Enterprise Institute earlier this year, Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined the idea that he, Republican transition chief Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and rank-and-file Republicans are now working to implement.

“Let’s do away with the concept of ‘comprehensive’ spending bills. Let’s break them up, to encourage scrutiny, and make spending cuts easier. Rather than pairing agencies and departments together, let them come to the House floor individually, to be judged on their own merit,” he said at AEI more than a month before the midterm election.

Tell me this doesn’t make sense:

“Members shouldn’t have to vote for big spending increases at the Labor Department in order to fund Health and Human Services. Members shouldn’t have to vote for big increases at the Commerce Department just because they support NASA. Each department and agency should justify itself each year to the full House and Senate, and be judged on its own.”

The strongest criticism of this new slicing and dicing approach is “time.” Will House members have the “time” to consider more legislation, have more debate and make more votes? I suggest they find a way. That’s what we pay them to do, and they will if they are serious about making American voters happy, and the country more efficient and financially healthy.

This is interesting:

Republicans say Boehner’s will to implement his vision should not be underestimated…

For those who have paid close attention to Boehner’s words, this plan should come as no surprise.

It’s one of several signs that Republicans are taking seriously their pledge to make significant changes to the legislative and administrative functions of the House. Incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has discussed a massive overhaul to the House schedule — including a halt to unsubstantive resolutions honoring various individuals and entities — that could provide additional time for the consideration of a larger crop of spending bills. Republican leaders are also discussing significant cuts to Capitol Hill staff.

Thanks to The Lonely Conservative, who has some updates and more discussion of the slicing and dicing, and you might ask, what do earmarks and the appropriations process have in common? Read it here. And there’s more. There’s a battle on for the House Appropriations Chairmanship.