04/20/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/20/2021 12:53
WASHINGTON - With the goal of addressing the nation's unprecedented national debt, U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and colleagues introduced the Sustainable Budget Act of 2021. The Sustainable Budget Act would create an 18-member bipartisan national commission to find and recommend ways to balance the federal budget over 10 years.
'During the pandemic, Congress passed targeted relief to assist those directly impacted by the pandemic,' Rounds said. 'That emergency deficit spending was appropriate and necessary. What we've been seeing recently, though, is a federal government set on spending without accountability. This year alone, President Biden has proposed two packages full of unnecessary spending - totaling over $4 trillion. This must change. Our bill would create a bipartisan commission to chart a sustainable path forward for our nation.'
'Congress has spent nearly $6 trillion in the last year,' Lummis said. 'Much of this spending helped Americans through the pandemic, but I know that my constituents in Wyoming are very concerned that we have no plan to pay it back. We are on an unsustainable trajectory. We've become numb to the word 'trillion.' At the rate we are going, the United States could soon spend more money on interest on the national debt than it does on defense.
'The commission created in the Sustainable Budget Act is modeled after the Simpson-Bowles commission, which in 2010 released a plan aimed at reducing federal deficits by nearly $4 trillion. At this point, we need a plan far more ambitious than Simpson-Bowles to get us out of the pit. I hope my colleagues will recognize the gravity of this situation and will join me in addressing our national debt.'
The commission created by the Sustainable Budget Act would consist of 18 members chosen by the President, the Speaker of the House, the House minority leader, and Senate majority and minority leaders. They would be tasked with creating a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit and balance the federal budget within 10 years.
The national debt currently sits at $28 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office has raised the alarm, warning that our net interest costs will exceed other mandatory spending by 2030 and surpass spending for Social Security by 2045.
Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) are original cosponsors of the legislation.