Inside Report (4)

If the budget game's getting too complicated, then maybe it's time to change the rules.

That seems to be the growing sentiment in Congress. Many members have had it with the present system: They say it takes too much time, it's too complicated, and its economic estimates aren't realistic. Some of the ideas being run up the proverbial flagpole include: Save time by making the first budget resolution binding, not just a guide; shift to a two-year budget cycle (as annual budgetmaking takes up so much time and energy that Congress has little time other work); give the President more power to withhold funds authorized by Congress.

A House Rules Committee task force is studying the issue, but insiders expect no action this year. Recommendations will be made for action in the next Congress.

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