Shaheen Says Two-Year Budget Can End Manufactured Crises In D.C.

Nov 11, 2013

Senator Jeanne Shaheen is joined by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) during a discussion in Concord moderated by Robert Bixby of The Concord Coalition.
Credit Todd Bookman / NHPR

  Senator Jeanne Shaheen is urging the federal government to switch to a two-year budgeting cycle, saying it could help put an end to manufactured crises in Washington.

The first-term Democrat has experience with two-year budgets, as she helped craft three of them as governor of New Hampshire.

Shaheen told an audience at the UNH School of Law that a biennial plan would help end non-stop fiscal battles.

“Just think how good we could be doing if we could stop shooting ourselves in the foot, and provide some certainty through our policy decisions,” says Shaheen.

Shaheen was joined Monday by Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. He says a two-year cycle would create more oversight and evaluation instead of wasteful spending.

“I was in business for 33 years, ran a company for 22 years. If you don’t budget, and you don’t know where you are going, and don’t have a road map and a game plan, then you are going to go broke,” says Isakson. “Our country is going broke.”

Similar attempts to alter the system date as far back as 1977.

Critics of the two-year budget say it reduces flexibility.