Tuesday - 3/4/2014, 2:00am EST

In the 16 years since the House, the Senate and the President have failed to agree on a set of bills to fund the government for an entire fiscal year, hope for an efficient process has withered. Since 1997, over 90 different CRs have been passed in order to fund agencies.

Federal News Radio believes there is a better way to avoid this ongoing federal budget acrimony.

Our special report, "Now or Never: Ideas To Save the Failing Budget Process," highlights best practices, real-life successes and research that could save time, money and sanity in federal budgeting, and give agencies and contractors the stability needed to help meet the missions of the government.

We asked a range of experts — liberal, conservative, civilian, military, Democrat, Republican, federal and state — for their solutions. Read each of their columns below.


Brian Deese
Brian Deese
Deputy Director
Office of Management and Budget
________________________
"We've seen in stark terms how uncertainty and instability can undermine the function of government ... My hope is that one of the things we learn and take away collectively from that is providing some stability and certainty — and trying to get back to a budget process that isn't defined by a constant series of crises — is in all of our interests." Read full column.

David 
Walker
David Walker
Former Comptroller General
Founder and CEO, Comeback America Initiative
________________________
"In addition to restoring reasonable Presidential reorganization authority, it's time to implement a statutory Government Transformation Board. This independent board would make periodic findings and recommendations to the Congress that would be guaranteed hearings and action within specified periods of time." Read full column.

Diana Urban
Rep. Diana Urban
Democrat
State of Connecticut Representative
________________________
"The federal budget is huge, but it can be broken down into its component parts and those parts can be examined using results-based accountability. The idea is to foster cooperation and collaboration. I am a believer in starting small and achieving success and then bringing the program to scale." Read full column.

Reid Ribble
Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.)
Member
House Budget Committee
________________________
"Instead of forcing agencies to spend all of their time bureaucratically researching, planning, and submitting budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year, biennial budgeting creates set times for departments to submit their budget plans, and dedicates the rest of the time to actually governing." Read full column.

Chris Van 
Hollen
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md)
Ranking Member
House Budget Committee
________________________
"Federal workers have already contributed more than $130 billion toward lowering our deficit ... We need to ensure that the federal government is able to attract talented new employees - we cannot keep whacking benefits from future workers." Read full column.

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark
Senior Fellow
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
________________________
"We should accept that establishment of overall spending levels will continue to take too long for appropriations to be completed on time. Changes to the budget process should therefore focus on ways to reduce the effect of these delays on the near-term operation of government." Read full column.

Dan 
Chenok
Dan Chenok (D-Md.)
Executive Director
IBM Center for the Business of Government
________________________
"Barriers exist that impede savings capture and reinvestment ... Overcoming barriers will likely require the use of prototypes and pilots to demonstrate the art of the possible, building support for pilots and understanding how success can scale more broadly." Read full column.

Robert 
Bixby
Robert Bixby
Executive Director
The Concord Coalition
________________________
"We will need more than changes in the budget process to successfully meet the nation's fiscal, economic and demographic challenges in the years ahead. No matter what budget system Washington has in place, elected officials must still ultimately make some difficult choices that involve substantial public sacrifices." Read full column.

David 
Wessel
David Wessel
Director, Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy
The Brookings Institution
________________________
"The challenge is to rethink the budget process and the presentation of the budget so that it is more likely to produce a durable consensus among a significant number of Democrats and Republicans and promote better public understanding of the fiscal choices the nation faces." Read full column.

Tom Temin
Tom Temin
Host
Federal Drive
________________________
"Despite the billions in sunk investments in systems, financial processes are such that when you add up all the layers, it takes something akin to archaeology for a citizen to unearth a specific fact about where and how money was spent." Read full column.

More From Our Special Report

Online Chat: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process

Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and Connecticut State Representative Diana Urban join Federal News Radio for a free online chat to discuss what needs to be done to fix the failing federal budget process. View an archive of the recent chat.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 02:13pm EST

Poll: How would you fix the budget?

Now that you've read what our experts have to say about fixing the budget, we want to know which ideas you think would work best.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 11:45am EST