Comments on S. Res. 22

B-170612: Published: May 26, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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GAO was requested to comment on S. Res. 22, which would direct two Senate committees to study the advisability and feasibility of conducting the fiscal affairs of the U.S. Government on a two-year fiscal period or, in the alternative, of having the budget submitted and new budget authority enacted for two fiscal years of time. GAO favors adoption of this resolution because it is in line with suggestions it has made to lengthen the horizon of budget-related information and actions. Congressional and federal agency workload could be better focused during the budget if there were fewer programs requiring annual authorizations for appropriations and if some programs were put on a biennial appropriations cycle. These actions would permit more concentrated attention each year on selected programs and facilitate more timely completion of congressional authorizing and appropriations actions. The resolution could contribute significantly by analyzing the trade-offs and identifying programs that could be shifted from annual to biennial appropriations actions. It is important at this time of complex economic problems and budget constraints that the government take steps to streamline the budget process and improve budget analyses. The research that would be undertaken pursuant to the resolution could lead to these improvements.

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