Scott Newsome at on reforming the Congressional Budget Act (CBA):

  • First, section 310(a) of the CBA, which outlines the reconciliation process, is currently silent on the issue of whether it can be used to increase or decrease deficits. This leaves that decision to Congress and the president. It should therefore be amended to specify that reconciliation can be used only for deficit reductions.
  • Second, section 310(e) subsection (2) of the CBA could be amended to remove filibuster protection from any reconciliation bill that increases the deficit. Barring a scenario in which the majority party in Congress holds 60 or more seats in the Senate, this would force the majority to compromise with the minority party.
  • Third, that same section could also be amended to provide filibuster protection for a reconciliation bill only if that bill is supported by at least one-third of the minority party in the Senate. This reform, in particular, could promote bipartisan lawmaking in the realm of economic policy, as reconciliation could be used to pass legislation only if a substantial majority or a cross-partisan coalition that comprises a simple majority in the Senate is in support.