Federal government spending is out of control and one Congress member from Tennessee is looking to rein it in.
On Wednesday, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) introduced a bipartisan bill along with Rep. Ed Case (D-HI-01) called Reforming America’s Fiscal Toolkit Act of 2019 (RAFT Act). If passed this bill would change Congress’s budget process in order “to establish a lower public debt relative to America’s gross domestic product (GDP).”
“No business or organization, big or small, would survive operating without a budget. Congress is no different and needs to establish a responsible budget,” Burchett said. “Our nation cannot pay back its creditors if it is bankrupt, and the Budget Committee must adopt a practice that keeps debt at a reasonable level.”
Earlier this month, America’s debt surpassed $23 trillion. Right now, the nation’s current debt is greater than the “total value of American goods and services,” according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
America’s debt problem is projected to get worse in the future. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget projects the debt will increase by $12.8 trillion over the next 10 years.
“Our federal fiscal house is clearly out of order and we appear trapped in a continuing cycle of $1 trillion-plus annual deficits. We clearly need any and all tools at our disposal to guide overall budget sustainability. The RAFT Act is an invaluable tool by following the time-tested responsible budget approach of linking maximum debt to overall economic activity,” said Rep. Case.
This proposed legislation comes after the House and Senate passed a continual resolution (CR) this week to keep the government open through December 20. Burchett voted against the CR because representatives were given little time to read over the bill. In addition, the Tennessee representative did not like how certain government initiatives will be funded into 2020 rather than for the few weeks.
Burchett expressed frustration on how Congress has not passed a long-term spending bill during his short time in Washington D.C.
“These terrible continuing resolutions are not how Congress is supposed to fund the government, but it is how it has been operating for a very long time,” he said. “I fail to understand why Congress is extending essential government funding for just a few weeks while extending the Patriot Act and other surveillance programs well into next year, all in the same piece of legislation.”
“Congress needs to start honoring its fiscal and budget responsibilities and end its negligent abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Burchett continued.
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