Kathleen Rice

10/01/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/01/2019 10:59

Reps. Kathleen Rice and Andy Barr Introduce Bill Requiring Comptroller General to Present Congress with a Report on Nation’s Economy

WASHINGTON - U.S. Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) today introduced H. Con. Res. 68, the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution, which would require the Comptroller General to present the Financial Report of the United States to a joint hearing of the House and Senate Budget Committees. All Members of Congress would be invited to attend. By inviting a nonpartisan government official to present to both the House and Senate, Congress would receive a sober and clear-eyed assessment of our nation's financial health, which would enhance Members' understanding of the federal budget and deficit and help them make more informed decisions with respect to the U.S. economy. In August, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated its budget and economic outlook to project that the federal deficit would reach $1 trillion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 for the first time since FY 2012.

The joint hearing would take place within forty-five business days of issuance of the audited Financial Report to ensure lawmakers receive the information in an accurate and timely manner. H. Con. Res. 68, which was introduced just before the start of Fiscal Year 2020, has been cosponsored by more than 100 bipartisan Members of Congress.

'Republicans and Democrats have a responsibility to work together to ensure our government's long-term fiscal stability,' said Representative Rice. 'With our national debt now exceeding $20 trillion, Congress cannot turn a blind eye to how our increasing debt and deficits affect the economy. This bipartisan resolution will ensure that when drafting legislation, lawmakers in both parties are equipped with the most current and unbiased data.'

'Since I was first elected to Congress, I made a commitment to oppose business as usual in Washington. We must address our nation's looming debt crisis and vote to force the government to live within its means,' said Representative Barr. 'This common-sense bill will provide the knowledge we need to make smart and informed decisions regarding the nation's financial state. It's our responsibility to understand the full scope of our national debt and find ways to stop increasing unnecessary federal spending and save America from bankruptcy.'

'We believe requiring the Comptroller General to make an annual presentation before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Budget Committees will be very helpful to focus key policymakers on some of the most important aspects of the consolidated financial statements, including financial and sustainability measures,' said Barry C. Melancon, President & CEO, American Institute of CPAs. 'It will also assist them in better understanding the results of the financial statement audit and any related findings.'

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President, Maya MacGuineas said 'With trillion-dollar deficits around the corner, we cannot afford to ignore growing debt that will damage economic growth, slow wage growth, and burden the next generation. Representatives Rice and Barr's Fiscal State of the Nation bill would help highlight our deteriorating fiscal situation and educate lawmakers about the ramifications of our rapidly growing national debt.'

The full text of H. Con. Res. 68 is available here.

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