Last week, 35 members of the House of Representatives introduced H. Res. 919, which recognizes the national debt as a threat to national security.
Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05) spoke about the reasoning behind introducing the resolution:
“My colleagues and I have introduced this resolution because, with a national debt over $21 trillion, the United States is racing towards a fiscal cliff. We are taking few measures to solve this problem. It is beyond time for Congress to become serious about balancing the nation’s budget and making significant cuts to federal spending. If we do not change our course, we will be responsible for one of the worse catastrophes this nation has ever experienced: the crash of the American economy and the demise of a superpower. We must not let our grandchildren inherit – and experience – this ruinous fate.”
Many of the original cosponsors provided quotes on the predicament that the U.S. federal government is currently in. Congressman Jim Jordan (OH-04) said,
“The American people sent us to Washington to change the status quo and reduce out-of-control government spending. It’s time to deal with our spending problems and balance the federal budget.”
The full press release and various statements can be found here. You can also see all the cosponsors on Congress.gov.
Members of both the House and Senate must get serious about reforming spending. After passing a massive spending bill earlier this year, it’s imperative that cuts are made before a fiscal catastrophe hits. We commend these 35 Representatives from across the country for seeing the national debt for what it is: a huge danger.
CRS has joined National Taxpayers Union and ten other organizations urging Senators to oppose an amendment to the NDAA. Amendment #2321, offered by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), would eliminate the Budget Control Act’s (BCA) sequester mechanism for discretionary spending as a way to continue increasing defense funding and work around the budget caps.
The letter explains in more detail:
Despite repeated budget agreements that amended the BCA’s caps, the BCA has nonetheless been an essential check on the congressional impulse to overspend. The BCA has generated significant savings for taxpayers, established a lower budget baseline, and forced much-needed waste reduction and prioritization of programmatic needs across federal agencies.
The annual Defense authorization act is an improper vehicle to unwind the BCA. Any discussion of repealing or changing the caps ought to be done in the context of other significant reforms that would generate real savings for taxpayers – both now AND in the future.
The full text of the letter can be read here.
- Coalition to Reduce Spending
- National Taxpayers Union
- Campaign for Liberty
- Concerned Veterans for America
- Center for Freedom and Prosperity
- Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
- Independent Women’s Voice
- Defense Priorities Initiative
- Taxpayers for Common Sense
- Taxpayers Protection Alliance
In an open letter to Congress, 16 groups in total expressed support for the rescissions request sent by the Trump administration. We believe this a step toward fiscal restraint, something that is much needed in Washington right now.
The letter explains that,
The rescission process has been utilized by several previous Democratic and Republican administrations. This proposal requests more than $15 billion in rescinded appropriations, which makes it easily the largest rescission request offered by any President in U.S. history. As with rescission requests in the past, we believe this important step toward greater fiscal responsibility is worthy of strong bipartisan support.
The letter concludes with a summary of where the nation currently stands:
With the national debt topping $21 trillion and projected deficits exceeding $1 trillion, it is clear that Washington will have to start showing greater spending discipline. While this package does not solve all of the federal government’s spending problems, it does take an important step toward achieving budgetary savings – a goal all lawmakers from both parties should enthusiastically support.
The wide group of signatories include: the Coalition to Reduce Spending, National Taxpayers Union, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Club for Growth, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Heritage Action for America, Campaign for Liberty, Less Government, Independent Women’s Voice, Women for Trump, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Family Business Coalition and Center for Individual Freedom.
It is important that Congress and the administration start clawing back federal spending and programs that are no longer necessary. This is a great first step, and will hopefully spark rigorous debate on spending priorities in the future.
It was announced this week that the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act would be marked-up in the Senate this month. The Coalition to Reduce Spending, along with 44 other organizations, companies, and advocacy groups, signed a coalition letter thanking the Senate Judiciary Committee for taking up this bill and urging their support.
The letter summarizes the legislation:
The CREATES Act is a bipartisan, market-based reform that will speed the introduction of generic and biosimilar competition for brand-name drugs. It is a highly-targeted remedy that will end the anticompetitive abuses utilized by some brand-name manufacturers, help restore the balance between innovation and affordability that Congress intended, and achieve the goal of more affordable prescription drugs. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that enacting the CREATES Act would save $3.8 billion over ten years.
We’ve written extensively on the issue (op-eds can be found here and here) and are extremely excited about the legislation being advanced. Over a quarter of all Senators are cosponsors, signaling that there is a great chance it will be enacted. We urge members from both the House and Senate to support this legislation, which will help lower the cost of expensive drugs for both taxpayers and consumers across the country.
Earlier this month, the Trump administration offered Congress the chance to do something it hasn’t it quite awhile: Cut spending. The package would strip out a little over $15 billion in unnecessary or wasteful spending.
And today, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), David Perdue (R-GA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, which would create a path toward formally cutting the funds that the White House identified in its package.
Now, the clock is ticking. Under the 1974 Budget Act, the President can pause funds — but only for 45 days if Congress does not act.
Solving our looming budget crisis will take far tougher, more wide-ranging reforms that these. Here, Congress is presented with perhaps the lowest-hanging fruit possible for budget cuts — and they should act swiftly to support them.