Is entitlement reform coming soon?

It’s no secret that most in Congress have been particularly bad on spending votes of late. Now with historic deficits and rising debt, Senate leadership is turning attention to an area of spending that rarely gets a vote: Mandatory spending.

Speaking Tuesday to Bloomberg News about rising deficits, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said:

“It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said… when asked about the rising deficits and debt. “It’s a bipartisan problem: unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future.”

McConnell, of course, is correct — to an extent. Mandatory spending remains the biggest single driver of debt and deficits, and no plan that ignores it will solve the issue. But with historically high spending in nearly every other area of discretionary spending too, it is impossible to be serious about spending reform while ignoring trillion-dollar budget dysfunction.

We hope that Congressional leaders will address both in moving forward.

Note: This post was originally published at the Institute for Spending Reform.

Budget Deficit Increased Over $100 Billion This Year

Late last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their Monthly Budget Review for September 2018. They detailed the fiscal situation the federal government is currently in. They summarize:

“The federal budget deficit was $782 billion in fiscal year 2018, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, $116 billion more than the shortfall recorded in fiscal year 2017.”

Receipts are up less than one percent, while the total outlays are up more than three percent, compared to last fiscal year. The largest increases in spending were net interest on the public debt (grew $7 billion), Social Security ($4 billion), and Department of Defense programs ($3 billion).

The government continues to spend more money every year, without any regard for the taxpayer. It’s important that the federal government makes drastic changes by focusing on lowering the debt and getting their finances in order. The debt has topped $21 trillion and the government is continuing to grow, something has to change.

Jonathan Bydlak: The Wrong Way to Avoid a Shutdown

In an email to supporters today, CRS founder and president Jonathan Bydlak explained the bad deal that Congress has worked out to avoid a shutdown — and why it’s one of the worst we’ve seen.

Read the full letter here, and click here to sign our voter pledge and receive regular email updates on our work.

Almost nobody wants a government shutdown.

But yesterday, establishment leaders in both parties may have come up with the worst idea to stop it that I’ve ever heard.

You see, they are “daring” President Trump to refuse their spending bill by loading it up with plenty of Pentagon spending he wants — and also plenty of extra spending on other projects, billions more than the President requested.

Simply put, this is a terrible plan. Members of the Republican Study Committee and the House Freedom Caucus are angry, even though many of their members also want increased Pentagon spending.

HFC Chair Rep. Mark Meadows called the bill a “Democrat ‘Labor-HHS’ bill.” The RSC released a statement suggesting its members would be willing to vote No.

Good. We hope President Trump keeps his word and doesn’t sign another big spending bill that breaks every promise Republicans have made for generations.

It’s hard to emphasize how bad this problem is.

Between August 2017 and August 2018, the US budget deficit roughly doubled, driven mostly by a 7-percent increase in spending.

The deficit is almost $900 billion, and there are no signs that Congressional leaders have the political courage to address the problem before it becomes truly unmanageable.

For decades, politicians have promised to deal with the cause of our generation, only to join hands and say “I’ll vote for your spending, if you’ll vote for mine.”

Enough is enough.

Please join me in demanding better.

Coalition congratulates pledge signer Greg Steube for winning Congressional primary

By a decisive margin, voters in Florida’s 17th Congressional district have chosen pledge signer and state senator Greg Steube as their Republican nominee. Senator Steube has long been a champion of fiscal responsibility in the Florida legislature, and we are thrilled to see voters choose him to advance to the general election.

Mark Callahan is Committed to Stopping the Growth of Government in Washington

Mark Callahan is running for Congress in Oregon’s 5th Congressional district. He recently won the Republican primary and will go on to challenge the incumbent, Congressman Kurt Schrader, in November.

Yesterday after signing the pledge, he spoke on the issue of federal debt:

“I feel that the federal government should live within its means.  As Americans, we all have check books.  We know what goes into our check books in the form of income, and what goes out of our check books in the form of expenses. We, as Americans, have to keep our check books balanced to be fiscally responsible.  I feel the federal government should have to do the same, i.e. balance their checkbook.  Running up more debt, that will be saddled on the backs of our children and grandchildren for generations to come, is a not solution.”

It is vital that we support candidates who will fight in Washington against the status quo of continuing to pile up the debt. Mr. Callahan would be a great ally in Washington and we wish him the best of luck in the general election in November.

Check out his website here and the full list of pledge signers here.

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