Co-Chair Lowey's Opening Remarks at Fifth Public Hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform
As prepared for delivery during today's hearing:
Welcome to the Joint Select Committee’s fifth hearing. Today we have two witnesses with many, many years of experience with the budget and appropriations process and a wealth of knowledge on that subject.
One is David Obey, who served in the House for 42 years as a Representative from Wisconsin. He was a longstanding member of the House Appropriations Committee, and served as chairman or ranking minority member of that committee for almost two decades. He has also been involved in many past debates about budget process reform.
Our other witness is Leon Panetta, another former member of the House and a past Chairman of the House Budget Committee. In addition, he has extensive experience at very senior levels of the executive branch, including service as Director of OMB, White House Chief of Staff, Director of the CIA, and Secretary of Defense.
Today we’ll hear from them about what could be done to make our budget and appropriations processes work better. In addition to talking about procedural changes that might help, I hope we’ll also get the benefit of their long-term perspective on the polarization and partisanship that is now the fundamental cause of many of our difficulties.
I look forward to the testimony.
I should also mention that unfortunately I’ll need to leave part-way through this hearing to attend the first House-Senate conference committee meeting on 2019 appropriations bills. I wish I could stay for all of what should be a very interesting session.