This morning the Senate concluded debate on the budget resolution and started off on an unofficial procedure known as “vote-a-rama,” a fast-track budget process of addressing amendments that were not disposed of during the previous 50 hours of debate on the budget resolution.
The role of the budget resolution is to provide an important framework that clarifies Washington’s spending and revenue priorities. Therefore, amending the budget resolution can have a substantial impact on the policies in Congress.
Improving the Budget Resolution via Amendments
A number of amendments will be offered this afternoon, this evening, and into the early morning. The Heritage Foundation encourages amendments to the budget resolution address the following:
- Reconciliation Instructions: The budget should clarify and enforce the use of the reconciliation process for the purposes of repealing Obamacare. For more: 5 Reasons to Repeal the Entirety of Obamacare in 2015
- Premium Support in Medicare: The budget should address the trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities in Medicare by moving to a premium support program.For more: The Second State of Medicare Reform: Moving to a Premium Support Program.
- Welfare Reform: The budget should expand on the welfare reductions in the budget by capping total welfare spending. For more: Cap Total Means-Test Welfare Spending
- Base Funding and Defense: The budget should give greater priority to our national defense by increasing defense spending for fiscal year (FY) 2016. For more: A Proposal for the FY 2016 Defense Budget.
- Education Reform: The budget should begin eliminating billions of dollars in duplicative educational programs and send the federal Head Start Program back to the states. For more: Eliminate Competitive/Project Grant Programs and Reduce Spending on Formula Grants and Sunset Head Start to Make Way for Better State and Local Alternative.
- Eliminate the Export-Import Bank: The budget should finally kill the Export-Import bank. For more: The Case Against the Export-Import Bank and Kill the Export-Import Bank
- Repeal the Antiquities Act: The budget should fully repeal the president’s power to unilaterally designate land as a national monument by repealing the Antiquities Act. For more: The Antiquated Act: Time to Repeal the Antiquities Act
- Reform Social Security: The Social Security disability program is approaching insolvency before the end of next year and the retirement program is already running a cash-flow deficit. Congress should enact structural reforms to Social Security to avoid indiscriminate cuts in benefits to society’s most vulnerable, without increasing the debt or tax burden for future generations. For more: 7 Things Congress Should Do in the Budget
- Energy and Environment: The budget should open access to domestic exploration and production, permit free trade of energy resources and technologies and eliminate policies that pick winners and losers. For more: Free Market Supply Affordable Energy and a Clean Environment
If you would like to follow along with the budget debate, watch it live here: Watch FY2016 budget resolution debate.