Co-Chair Womack's Opening Remarks at Fourth Public Hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform
As prepared for delivery during today's hearing:
Good morning, and welcome to the fourth public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform: Members’ Day.
This select committee is focused on ensuring Congress can fulfill the most important and essential role described under Article I of the Constitution: the power of the purse.
Long before our committee was formed in February, there was bipartisan agreement throughout the Capitol and across the country that the current process for completing this basic function of government is in need of substantial improvement. That agreement led to bipartisan, bicameral support for the creation of this panel as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
This committee of 16 members has already spent a lot of time building consensus on some of the problems and conducted three previous hearings to consider solutions. And today’s hearing gives members, who know that budget and appropriations reform is necessary, the opportunity to participate in this essential work.
This hearing is meant to engage all members of Congress – from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol – and solicit their ideas for possible reforms to improve the current process. We believe doing so is key to our continued efforts and eventual success.
I am very encouraged by the level of interest and participation from those testifying in person and those submitting statements for the Committee’s consideration. We are grateful for your input and ideas.
We are particularly excited to welcome some of the House leadership: House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. Thank you for being here.
And thank you to everyone joining us and offering your valuable perspective. We are eager to hear your ideas. With that, I yield to my co-chair, Ms. Lowey.