Wyoming’s Senator Mike Enzi Likely To Head Budget Committee

It is widely believed by many in Washington that U.S Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) will exercise his seniority over current ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Mike_Enzi,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress and take the gavel of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee in the upcoming 114th Congress.

The chairman of the US Senate Budget Committee will have an important role in the new Congress as it will be his responsibility to develop and navigate a budget resolution on the Senate floor by the end of Spring.  Incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it a priority to return the federal budget process to normal order under the republicans new majority.  The Budget Committee is important in the majority because it has the responsibility for outlining priorities and laying the groundwork for both consideration of spending bills and the reconciliation process.

Forcing Committee Changes

Reconciliation, a provision of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, is designed to force committees to make changes in mandatory – or entitlement – spending and revenues, such as Medicare. It was conceived by lawmakers as a way to bring down the deficit by easing the path for budget and tax deals. The rules for budget reconciliation in the Senate restrict the procedure to provisions dealing with the budget. They also set strict protocols for consideration of the bills in both chambers. Under the procedures for reconciliation bills, debate in both houses is limited to 20 hours, and no Senate filibusters are allowed.  Reconciliation would provide Republicans with a rare opportunity to pass legislation without the need for Democratic votes, since they have well short of the filibuster-proof margin of 60 as they assume the majority in the new Senate.

There will be two republican newcomers on the Budget Committee in the 114th Congress, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and new Senator David Perdue (R-GA).

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