A Bipartisan Win for Fiscal Responsibility
The Senate recently passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), sending the bill to President Biden to be signed into law. The bill as written represents the largest deficit reduction package in nearly a dozen years and will likely reduce deficits by $1 to $2 trillion over the decade. Importantly, it also raises the debt limit to avert a default.
The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
What we just witnessed – bipartisan votes in both houses of Congress to begin addressing our fiscal health – is a rare win in budgeting we hope to see more often. Policymakers from both sides should celebrate this moment that bucked recent trends, suspending the debt ceiling while enacting meaningful savings and reforms. We applaud those who acted in good faith to get this done. It is spectacularly more difficult to develop a deal that saves money rather than spends it, which is what makes this such an important accomplishment.
The road to get to this point was rocky, and we came too close to the deadline – we cannot compromise the nation’s full faith and credit. But the result was good: a down payment on our fiscal future. While it is self-defeating that our nation increasingly governs by crisis, it is notable and encouraging that leaders stepped in and avoided this crisis through bipartisan compromise.
Of course, there is much more to be done. The next step will require a focus on mandatory spending and revenues and securing our major trust funds. A fiscal commission would be a common-sense next step. We need to build on this win rather than returning to our old bad habits of relying on new borrowing to pass legislation.
For now, the nation can breathe a sigh of relief at the last minute, appreciating this for what it is: leadership doing right by the American people.
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