Whether its a short term Continuing Resolution, or a last second Omnibus package, the federal budgeting process itself has drawn a great deal of criticism from fiscal conservatives. House Speaker Paul Ryan leadership believes their new plan, entitled “A Better Way”, will put the power of the purse back into the hands of the people. The Institute to Reduce Spending reports:
… Members of the House introduced the fourth stage of the plan, which is based on reasserting Congress’s constitutional authority — particularly the power of the purse.
In their plan released today, House Republicans argue that over time, Congressional control over federal spending has eroded. As a result, mandatory spending has been able to grow and make up almost two-thirds of the $3 trillion annual federal budget today. When Congress fails to pass all appropriations bills in time, they cede their ability to steer the fiscal ship. Stop-gap continuing resolutions or omnibus spending bills allow inefficient or duplicative programs to survive. The proposal aims to reform the budget process with a “strategic focus” on appropriations and oversight. The goal is to produce timely bills with clear spending limits.
Part of this strategic focus involves passing all appropriations bills internally, in addition to working with the Senate to “remove impediments” to getting spending bills approved.
Read the rest here.
The June 7th primaries will ask voters across the country to choose candidates that represent their values. From California to North Carolina, New Jersey to New Mexico, and in the heartland of Iowa, these potential representatives have an opportunity to illustrate their commitment to addressing our national debt before it adversely impacts our way of life.
The pledge is the Coalition’s answer to our nation’s immense debt problem. Separated by thousands of miles, these leaders share one common goal — for Congress to make the tough choices required to reduce spending and balance the budget, just as American households do.
North Carolina’s open seat in the 13th district has been especially receptive to solving our spending problem. Dan Barrett, Andrew Brock, Kay Daly, Julia Howard, Julia Howard, Farren Schoaf, and Vernon Robinson have all committed to vote only for spending increases that are offset and only for budgets with a path to balance.
Their signatures show a willingness to put their promises onto paper and into practice. As activists, we have watched as Congress votes for billions in spending year after year. In 2016, it is time to hold Washington accountable. These candidates in North Carolina’s 13th are taking the first step toward representing this most important of constituent concerns, and ending the trend of irresponsible budgeting.
With the national election’s field winnowing down, now is the time to remember that no matter who becomes President in November, it is Congress that controls the country’s purse strings. That constitutional duty is why we’ve approached every candidate for federal office with the opportunity to sing the pledge to Reject the Debt.
Both Republican primary candidates in Nebraska’s 2nd district have committed to only voting for budgets with a path to balance, and to not increase spending without offsetting cuts elsewhere.
Most recently, Don Bacon and Chip Maxwell, running in Nebraska’s 2nd District, join hundreds of others who have put their dedication to reducing spending on the record.
The national debt impacts all Americans, making it a shared responsibility. Citizens want to know their votes will go towards a candidate committed to tackling this issue head on.
As the May 3rd primary in Indiana approaches, the first Senate candidate has announced his commitment to voters on fiscal issues by signing the Reject the Debt pledge – Congressman Marlin Stutzman, currently the representative from Indiana’s 3rd District.
In Indiana’s hotly contested 3rd district, both Jim Banks and Liz Brown have gone on the record by signing the Coalition’s pledge.
Robert Hall, a Republican candidate running in Indiana’s 9th district, also recently signed, offering the statement that he “will vote to balance the budget in less than 5 years.” Other candidates in the state who have signed include: Jeff Petermann in the 2nd district and Richard Moss in Indiana’s 8th.
The Coalition is proud to announce these candidates have committed to not voting for spending increases without offsets elsewhere in the budget and to vote only for budgets with a path to balance.
See which candidates have signed so far nationwide here.
Last year alone, Congress spent $310 billion on over 250 agencies and programs that were no longer authorized — more than half of that number was programs whose authorizations were more than a decade expired. Over the last ten years, Congress spent about a quarter of its budget on unauthorized programs, and this year, about 57% of non-defense discretionary spending occurred without proper authorization.
Enough is enough. Congress should work to reevaluate all unauthorized spending and pass all new spending only with the proper authorizations. That’s why at the Coalition are proud to support Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ USA Act, which is aimed at reining in this irresponsibility once and for all. While no single effort can hope to be a cure-all for the nation’s $19 trillion debt, efforts like these are a valuable step in the right direction.