Moore & Yakym Push to Get Federal Spending Under Control

“The fact that we haven’t reformed our budget process in 50 years is just totally outrageous.”

WASHINGTON, DC —With millions of Americans filing their federal income taxes earlier this week, The Ripon Society hosted a dinner discussion Monday evening with two Members of Congress who are pushing to reform the federal budget process and restore a sense of accountability to the way hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent.

The Members were Blake Moore and Rudy Yakym.  Moore was elected in 2020 and represents the 1st District of Utah in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Yakym was elected in 2022 and represents the 2nd District of Indiana in the House.  Both serve on the House Budget Committee, and both also serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan What Works Caucus, which was launched last fall to ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are invested as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Moore kicked off the discussion by talking about the importance of reforming the way federal tax dollars are budgeted, and a bill he recently introduced to achieve that goal.

“We will not fix our fiscal problems in this country without fixing our budget process,” the Utah lawmaker stated. “The Comprehensive Congressional Budget Act would force us to take into consideration the entirety of it.  It would get rid of the Byrd Rule. It would get rid of budget reconciliation and force us to be adults and actually get involved.”

Moore introduced the Comprehensive Congressional Budget Act in January.  The legislation would reform the federal budgeting system by:

  • Allowing the House and Senate appropriations committees to continue managing discretionary spending;
  • Requiring each committee with direct spending or revenue jurisdiction to submit line items for each spending or revenue account along with any proposed changes to the House and Senate appropriations committees;
  • Requiring the House Appropriations Committee to compile the 12 appropriations bills and submissions from other committees and send the complete budget to the House floor;
  • Requiring the House Budget Committee and Senate Budget Committee to report a budget baseline level if Congress fails to agree to a concurrent resolution on the budget by April 15th of each year; and,
  • Repealing the budget reconciliation process and Byrd Rule, requiring Congress to manage direct spending and revenue in the same bill as appropriated spending.

“We need to be doing stuff when we’re not in the budget reconciliation phase,” Moore said.  “We should be able to compromise and do good things.  And I’m hopeful that we can get there.”

Yakym agreed, and began his remarks by commending his colleague for his efforts to reform the budget process, and by discussing the joint effort they are spearheading as Co-Chairs of the What Works Caucus to restore a sense of accountability in Washington when it comes to how hard-earned taxpayer dollars are being spent.

“Blake’s been a leader on this issue for quite some time, and it’s truly an honor to call him a colleague,” he began.  “As co-founders of the What Works Caucus, part of what we believe is that the United States Congress obviously spends a lot of money, but we never actually take the time to go back and review it and ask, ‘Did that work?’  What are the criteria that we’re going to evaluate success by?  And how are we going to think about the future success of something that we’re setting up today? 

“Once you establish a dollar in our federal system, it just seems like it is there forever, and we never actually evaluate it.  So, we’re in the process of getting feedback on how we would evaluate it and what are some of the things that we could do that would work from an evidence-based perspective to make our budget process better.”

Yakym, who was appointed last fall to serve as Chairman of a newly-created Budget Process Reform Task Force, concluded his remarks by saying that restoring a sense of accountability to the way tax dollars are being spent was a priority that was not only critically important, but long overdue.

“To think that we haven’t reformed our budget process in 50 years is just totally outrageous,” he declared.

To view Moore and Yakym’s remarks before The Ripon Society dinner discussion on Monday evening, please click the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.