House Republicans seem intent on blowing up the staid appropriations process when they take power in January — potentially upending the old bulls in both parties who have spent decades building their power over the federal budget.
The plans include slicing and dicing appropriations bills into dozens of smaller, bite-size pieces — making it easier to kill or slash unpopular agencies. Other proposals include statutory spending caps, weekly votes on spending cuts and other reforms to ensure spending bills aren’t sneakily passed under special rules.
On some level, their plans may create a sense of organized chaos on the House floor — picture dozens of votes on dozens of federal program cuts and likely gridlock on spending bills. And don’t forget that a lot of these efforts will die with a Democratic-led Senate and a Democrat in the White House.
But the intent is to force debate as much as to actually legislate — and make Old Guard Republicans and Democrats uncomfortable with a new way of thinking about the size and scope of government.
If House Republicans are actually committed to these efforts that's a very enouraging sign.