Case and Womack Re-Introduce Measure Targeting Unsustainable Federal Budget
The bill comes as the national debt closes in on $32 trillion, up some $9 trillion since they first introduced the measure in November 2021
Washington, DC, February 1, 2023
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Ed Case (D – Hawai‘i) and Congressman Steve Womack (R – Arkansas) today announced the re-introduction of their Sustainable Budget Act, a measure they first introduced in November 2019 and reintroduced in the just-completed 117th Congress (2021-2023).
“Three years ago, on introduction of our original measure and with total debt at $23 trillion and debt-to-GDP at 107%, I said on the House floor that our federal fiscal house was seriously out of order,” said Rep. Case.
“Today, with debt now closing in on $32 trillion and debt-to-GDP at 120%, that is a serious understatement. With the fastest-growing part of our federal budget interest on our national debt, increasingly outpacing and crowding out critical defense and non-defense spending alike, we are all well past denial and into the danger zone.”
“The stark fiscal reality we face should alarm every member. Our unsustainable trajectory is one of the greatest threats to America’s prosperity, security, and future generations,” said Rep. Womack. “We need to implement every mechanism available to tackle the dysfunction. This bipartisan commission will help deliver needed policy solutions to chart a responsible way forward.”
Case and Womack said their Sustainable Budget Act will create a bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, charged with identifying and developing policies to balance the budget within ten years and meaningfully improve the long-term fiscal outlook. The commission’s recommendations would be considered by Congress under expedited legislative procedures.
“This Act follows the models of Simpson-Bowles and other such independent bipartisan commissions, charged with focusing on our debt and recommending a sustainable path for an up-or-down vote by Congress,” said Case. “In a Congress where we often repeat the platitude that our budget reflects our values, it is disturbing that the main common value reflected is fiscal unsustainability ranging to irresponsibility. We need look no further than a mirror to find the root cause: our collective inability to face the music of fiscal responsibility and sustainability.”
Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said: “I applaud Representatives Case and Womack for their bipartisan collaboration in proposing The Sustainable Budget Act.
“This bill would establish a commission to facilitate productive dialogue across the aisle to achieve a more fiscally sound future for our country. We commend them for introducing this common-sense legislation to tackle our nation's long-term debt."
· Text of the Sustainable Budget Act.
· Picture of Congressman Case speaking on the floor of the U.S. House on the federal deficit July 18, 2019. Courtesy Rep. Ed Case .