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that either Mr. Findley has suggested or others have suggested, that we ought to consider credit. Don't you think so?
Mr. Mayo. Yes, as part of the overall picture.
Mrs. GRIFFITHS. That is right. Before we give away this power to the Treasury this year, we should wrap it up within the Budget Committee, if this is what we are going to have—a total Budget Committee.
I would like to ask you something along Mr. Davis' lines, Mr. Findley.
Wouldn't the effect of the Budget Committee, which is largely made up of Appropriations and Ways and Means Committee members with other committee members added-wouldn't this really give a bolstering effect to the Appropriations Committee?
Mr. Mayo. Definitely, I think it would. I spent quite a bit of time talking to Chairman Mahon about this very problem of eroding-not in the last year or two, but before that-of the authority of the Appropriations Committee. This is why, Madam Chairman, I find that although I agree with most of what your colleague from Illinois had to say in his proposal, I feel that a little stronger medicine is required here that will, indeed, bring together-I hate forming another committee to do something, but in this case I think we are obliged to do that, to sweep away some of the, shall we say, deeply entrenched positions of individual legislative committees and the Appropriations and the Ways and Means, to be blunt about it, and creating something new, which will start off in a position of shall we sav a different relationship of respect on this particular problem, so that this committee is not like Ways and Means, where you have "Well, we have to get at the President's trade bill. We have these changes in social security and so forth before we can touch the other." Appropriations will be considering some of the details, perhaps, of the 13 different bills.
This new committee would look straight at the problem of the budget, and that would be its single purpose. I think you could do better that way.
Mrs. GRIFFITHs. It would bolster not only the appropriations process, but it would also bolster the taxing process.
Mr. Mayo. Yes.
Mrs. GRIFFITUIS. Because the real truth is, at the present time, when we arrive at that moment where the budget committee says, “In our opinion, now you must levy a tax, you shouldn't continue with the borrowing. You have to have the appropriations.
Our suggestion is that you levy a tax to increase the income. Either to increase the income to stay inflation or do whatever you choose."
The real proof is that it would give added help to the taxing committee because you do have an entrenched position and one of the things that I think you have to prepare for in this committee is that the House, itself, is going to have to have some rights to speak.
We cannot assume that any of these committees will be given the sole power to speak. You can watch what is happening now in the House and what they are really demanding is that those who come lately to this Congress have a right to speak and I think they should have.
I personally think if we end up with either the first view or the final view we will say to a member, “If you want to increase the exnenditure in any category, you must show the place where you will reduce it in another category."
I think that is an excellent suggestion.
Mrs. GRIFFITHS. Of course. Then you really let the people of the United States understand how the situation works.
I think that it is going to lessen the power of a lobbying group. They will not be as effective as they have been in the past. When you say to the entire United States:
Here, for instance, are the salaries being paid schoolteachers all over the country. This is the cost per child now of educating a child. Now, for those of you who want to add $4 billion here, please name the spot where you want to take it out. Are you going to take it out of social security? Are you going to take it out of medicare?
Of course, one of the answers in every situation is that the Defense Department would be one of the real whipping boys. I have a bill in here that will correct that, though.
Just as quickly as they set up purchasing procedures out there, they will be able to take care of that themselves. Purchasing procedures that are meaningful.
But, nevertheless, the Defense Department will have to have some people who come at last to their rescue. But I think people would do that anyhow.
Mr. MAYO. I would like to perhaps illustrate the point that you are making, Madam Chairman, by an analogy to the way the Ways and Means Committee literally handles the Old Age and Survivors Insurance program.
You look at the revenue side. You look at the expenditure side. You decide that two-tenths of a point increase in the tax schedule will produce money that will provide these benefits and give this much cushion left over. You have this as a whole.
Now, if that same principal can be applied to the Federal Government, you have got it made.
As you understand, I am one of these unified budget guys that is all for putting social security in the overall picture. I feel very strongly about it. But I think this illustrates a good one because here is a committee of the Congress that right now does this equating of both sides of the ledger in one committee and it works.
I am not saying I agree with everything that has been recommended, but the procedure works. The procedure works. And I think there is enough lesson in this that it can be applied by the whole Congress to the whole Federal budget.
Mrs. GRIFFITHS. I think so, too.
In my study of this proposal, I, of course, considered the possibility of new separate committees.
One reason I came finally to the recommendations of using the established committees was to maximize support for the resolution that finally emerges from committee when it reaches the House floor.
There are I believe 50 members of the Appropriations Committee55 now. If the resolution from the Appropriations Committee recom
mending a budget for the ensuing year is typical of bills that come from the Appropriations Committee, it will have broad support.
There will be a great deal of unanimity on it. In other words, it will arrive on the floor probably with pretty well coordinated support of 50 members, or nearly so.
Now, if the budget resolution emerges from a new and smaller committee, can you be assured of the breadth of support that would occur otherwise?
I simply mention that as something to consider.
The other point I would like to mention is: This Budget Committee—this new Budget Committee undoubtedly would draw from the senior experienced members of both Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees.
To what extent would that process tend to immobilize these two committees in the year? If it does tend to immobilize them, what have you gained?
Those are two thoughts I add for your consideration. Mrs. GRIFFITHS. I would think that this committee will draw so heavily upon the knowledge of the Appropriations Committee and their abilities and their suggestions and Ways and Means that you should go in with a nice little block of 80 votes as you enter.
Nevertheless, I think everybody else should be permitted to speak, and I think we should come out of this whole thing with our set of priorities.
One of the things I like about what Chairman Burns pointed out, and I don't think so either, is that if we can do this you will not have any big hassle between the executive department and this committee and the Congress.
I think that the executive departments will be delighted, absolutely delighted, to have this done. I don't think they will raise any big objection and I don't think you will have a perpetual controversy. I think it will be far more cooperative than the President particularly seems to believe.
I think President Nixon would be delighted if we did something like this. I can't believe he would say, "I want to decide all this by myself." I think it is a huge burden.
Mr. FINDLEY. My proposal is so close to the one I feel is actively under consideration here that I think my comment is appropriate.
The Office of Management and Budget, under Caspar Weinberger, was overjoyed with the thrust and detail of my proposal, and I have every reason to believe that Mr. Ash feels the same way. Every sign
ne to believe thousand she fouloimme I have indicates that the administration is pleased to see this process occur.
Mrs. GRIFFITHS. I feel so, too. This administration, or any administration.
Any other questions?
I would like to thank both of you. You have been very kind and very helpful. We are happy to welcome you back. It is very nice of you to be here, Mr. Findley. You have done a great service.
Congressman Alphonzo Bell.
STATEMENT OF HON. ALPHONZO BELL, A U.S. REPRESENTATIVE
FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. BELL. Madam Chairman, and members of the committee, it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to testify before this committee.
The very fact that these hearings are being held is, to me, one of the most encouraging aspects in the hope shared by all of us that the constitutional powers conferred on the Congress can be restored, and when restored, that they will be exercised responsibly. This cannot be accomplished without substantial reform of the present system of authorizing and appropriating Federal expenditures.
I intend to present today a conceptual outline of the reforms I believe should be made. Because of the very magnitude and complexity of the task you have undertaken, however, I plan to submit a detailed explanation for the record.
Even those details submitted will not pretend to answer all potential questions, but hopefully will contribute usefully to development of a workable system.
I would like to emphasize two points which I believe are absolutely cssential to any reform of the budgetary process, and then I will propose two mechanisms which are essential to implementing those two points.
First, Congress must set the priorities in the Federal budget. Now that a spending ceiling has become a necessary fact of life, it is anachronistic and irresponsible for the Congress to continue to treat each appropriation bill independently of all others.
As long as worthy programs continue to be presented to the Congress individually and are permitted to stand or fall on their own merits, we will not be able to control the skyrocketing infringement on the Congress' budgetary prerogatives by the executive branch.
Congress can no longer treat each Federal program in a vacuum; given our finite Treasury, the decision on each program must be made in the context of all other equally worthy Federal programs.
If Congress is to resume its role in governing our country, it must act responsiblv in setting the budget, and that means that every decision to finance one program must come at the expense of another program.
That is a hard fact of congressional life, and it is one that this committee has recognized in its recommendations, which I firmly applaud.
The second point I should like to make concerns the traditional distinction the Congress makes between the authorization process and the appropriations process.
I thoroughly believe in the advantages of that distinction, and I believe that it must be retained in any reform of the budgetary process. Budgetary reform recommendations which would place the responsibility and the burden of making the hard decisions on priorities solely on the Appropriations Committees would sacrifice the very real benefits of our present two-step spending process.
These benefits come from the combination of indepth expertise and broad overview which the authorization appropriation distinction provides.
The members of our authorization committees have accumulated a unique mastery of the operations of the programs within their committee jurisdictions.
They know those programs extremely well. They know what is right with them and what is wrong with them; where errors were made in the past and where changes could be made in the future.
That sort of knowledge must have a role in the decisionmaking process which establishes the budgetary priorities and which increases the funding of one program at the expense of another.
As a practical matter, members of authorizing committees have become effective advocates of programs within their purview.
As in our legal system, the use of expert advocates of competing concepts results in judges and juries who are fully informed and thus able to make better decisions.
The members of our Appropriations Committee, on the other hand, have a far broader responsibility than their colleagues involved in the authorizing process.
As a result, they have a unique perspective on the fiscal consequences of their actions. That crucial perspective must continue to serve its vital role in the establishing of budgetary priorities.
I therefore propose that Congress establish a priority-setting process which retains the two-step authorization-appropriation procedure. This would require two central alterations in the present system.
The first would be to set up a committee to create a master budget authorization resolution. This committee would undergo the give-andtake priority setting process.
The second change would be to modify the current procedures of the Appropriations Committee to assure that it undertakes the same priority setting process which the Master Budget Authorization ('ommittee has undergone.
These two alterations would assure that Congress makes use of both the indepth knowledge and the broad overview available to it which are essential in enacting a responsible budget. It would require at each step the overt, conscious comparison of priorities across departmental and programmatic lines,
The Master Budget Authorization Committee would be charged with the responsibility of writing the master budget authorization, which would include a spending ceiling. That ceiling would be binding on appropriation bills.
In addition to the ceiling, the authorization resolution would contain guideline limits for each of the broad program areas. These guideline limits would add up to the total spending limit.
Although I have not yet worked out the details of the composition and appointment of the Master Budget Committee, I believe that it should be composed primarily of members of the authorization committees, and that each authorization committee should be represented, Also chairman or ranking members on the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees.
Only in that way can the cross-program comparisons and prioritysetting be accomplished with the benefit of the authorization committees expertise.
The analogy for the appropriations process to the priority-setting of the authorization process would occur within the Appropriations Committee.
I propose a change in Appropriations Committee procedures which would force the same hard cross-program comparisons and priority