During a recent hearing on Capitol Hill, the vice chair of the House Rules Committee offered an enthusiastic endorsement of "Principles & Priorities," the interactive group budget exercise that The Concord Coalition presents around the country.
"We've had you in my district before to do an event, and it's been one of the most popular things we've ever done, said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) told Concord Executive Director Robert L. Bixby. "And we're going to have another one this summer."
She thanked Bixby "for allowing folks who work with Concord Coalition to come out and work with citizens to help them see the difficulty it is to put together a budget. It's really an enlightening experience."
She offered her remarks during a June 25 hearing held by the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. Bixby, along with several other experts, was before the committee to explain the merits of changing the annual budget process to a two-year cycle.
"It would be difficult to have a better introduction than that, Mr. Bixby," said Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), the subcommittee chair.
In a Principles & Priorities program, participants work in small groups to develop fiscal reform plans to reduce projected federal deficits over the coming decade. They consider a range of policy options in all major budget areas, including defense, taxes, Social Security, Medicare and other domestic spending. Through discussion and compromise, most groups of average citizens are able to agree on substantial deficit reduction plans.
Concord developed the exercise and regularly updates it to include the latest budget figures and newly developed options. Concord has presented the program to thousands of students, retirees, civic leaders, elected officials and other citizens throughout the country, often partnering with other organizations or members of Congress from both parties.
More information on Principles and Priorities is available here.