Coalition Calls Attention to Lack of Fiscal Responsibility
This week’s State of the Union address comes at a time when debt as a share of the economy is on track to surpass record levels within a decade. Today, several national and local organizations have come together to call on Congress to address our nation's unsustainable budget path, including enactment of the Fiscal State of the Nation.
The Fiscal State of the Nation resolution (House Concurrent Resolution 44 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 11) requires the Congressional budget committees to convene an annual joint public hearing to receive an audit from the head of the Government Accountability Office on the condition of the federal government's finances. This bipartisan legislation passed the House of Representatives in November 2021 by unanimous voice vote and has been referred to the Committee on the Budget in the Senate. Coalition members urge the U.S. Senate to pass the resolution as a key first step for lawmakers to directly address our national debt.
The Fiscal State of the Nation Coalition intends to increase transparency of our nation’s fiscal health with coordinated efforts at the local and national level. The following are statements of support from Coalition partners across the country.
“Our nation’s fiscal health is of paramount importance and promoting transparency on our fiscal state is a key step to understanding the long-term economic impact of current and future policies. Requiring the Comptroller General to make an annual presentation before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Budget Committees will help to focus key policymakers on some of the most important aspects of the consolidated financial statements, including financial and sustainability measures. I urge the Senate to take up this resolution and pass it."
– Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, President and CEO, Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA
“The national debt is neither a Republican nor a Democratic issue. Successive majorities and administrations from both parties are responsible for adding trillions to the debt. The Arizona Bankers Association applauds Senators Sinema and Kelly, and the bipartisan group of senators, for shedding light on this issue with the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution. It’s long past time that Congress put away the partisan talking points and have a frank discussion about the financial health of the country as a first step to managing our rising debt. We urge the Senate to pass the Fiscal State of the Nation bill immediately.”
– Paul Hickman, President & CEO, Arizona Bankers Association
“Considering how ominous the federal government’s fiscal outlook is, it gets far too little attention. We commend this bipartisan group of senators for elevating a critical issue for our country’s future. Hopefully, their effort will motivate more lawmakers to advance proposals that can help curb our unsustainable debt trajectory.”
– Michele Stockwell, Bipartisan Policy Center Action
“Republicans and Democrats must get serious about addressing our rising national debt, which has now passed $30 trillion. Neither party is immune to criticism about how we got to this unsustainable situation, but both can be part of the solution. The Committee of 100 for Economic Development Inc., Louisiana’s business roundtable, stands in strong support of the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution as a critical first step for Congress to better manage our debt. We urge the Senate to pass this legislation immediately.”
– Michael Olivier, Chief Executive, C100 of Louisiana
“Ignoring our nation’s fiscal challenges will not make them go away. While Democrats and Republicans will have very different ideas about how to solve our fiscal challenges, they can certainly agree on a basic set of facts. An annual report from the Comptroller General would be a valuable opportunity for members of Congress and the public to better understand the nature and magnitude of the fiscal challenge, which would in turn help to guide responsible actions.”
– Robert L. Bixby, Executive Director, The Concord Coalition
“Convergence applauds the bipartisan lawmakers who passed, in the House, the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution, which requires Congress to give all Americans a regular window into America’s fiscal health. This resolution’s bipartisan history includes unanimous passage of the proposal by the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, as well as an earlier, similar proposal made by consensus of the cross-partisan participants of the Convergence Dialogue on Building a Better Budget Process. So, the Senate has very good reason to give this resolution careful, bipartisan consideration.”
– David Eisner, President & CEO, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution
“Both parties in Congress have ignored the growing problem about America’s debt and deficit spending. Simply expecting future generations to pay for today’s irresponsibility is not a solution or a plan we can afford. Citizens should be demanding a full, honest, and public accounting of the country’s financial health. The Fiscal State of the Nation resolution is a first sensible step in understanding the federal government’s budget picture from year to year. I applaud Senator Sinema, Representative Rice, and Representative Barr for their leadership on this resolution, and urge Congress to pass it immediately.”
– Tom Sands, President/CEO, Iowa Taxpayers Association
“Both parties in Congress need to get serious about America’s debt and deficits, and it starts with a full, honest, and public accounting of the country’s financial health. The Fiscal State of the Nation resolution is a first sensible step in understanding the federal government’s budget picture from year to year. We applaud Senator Sinema, Representative Rice, and Representative Barr for their leadership on this resolution, and urge Congress to pass it immediately.”
– Andrew Lautz, Director of Federal Policy, National Taxpayers Union
“The Fiscal State of the Nation effort is an indispensable first step on the long journey of putting the federal government’s finances in order. Congress must open the books on the federal government’s indebtedness, outstanding obligations, and budgetary trends to provide the American people with the systematic review that we hope will start a return to solvency. The hard work of fiscal discipline must begin with an examination of the facts as they are. On behalf of the manufacturing employers of our state, PMA looks forward to helping the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget with this effort, and we thank Representatives Cartwright, Dean, Fitzpatrick, Houlihan, Keller, Kelly, Perry, Reschenthaler, Smucker, and Wild from the Pennsylvania delegation for co-sponsoring H.Con.Res. 44. ”
– David N. Taylor, President & CEO, Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association
“A Fiscal State of the Nation resolution has enjoyed broad bipartisan support across both chambers of Congress for years. Budget policy experts, legislators, and other stakeholders have repeatedly made the case for this commonsense reform, which would provide neutral, reliable information to the public about the state of our federal finances, since the 115th Congress. Increasing uncertainty about how we can continue to fulfill our fiscal obligations and the economic implications of government spending should motivate our leaders to grapple with these tough questions. A Fiscal State of the Nation would help create that opportunity and focus attention on these urgent issues. It would be wrong to let this practical addition to the legislative process continue to wither on the vine. The Senate should join their colleagues in the House, who approved the measure unanimously, and move to enact this resolution.”
– Nan Swift, R Street Institute
“America’s national debt is on an unsustainable trajectory — passing $30 trillion in 2022. It is time for Congress to get serious about addressing this financial burden that is being passed to future generations to pay. The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with and collaborating with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget to urge the U.S. Senate to pass this legislation, which already passed the House of Representatives last fall.”
– Liliam M. Lopez, President/CEO, South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
“State Business Executives stands in strong support of efforts to improve our nation’s fiscal wellbeing and increase transparency. Members of Congress from both parties need to move past a general understanding of the far-reaching negative impacts of America’s debt and deficits and start taking strong action. This is a good first step toward providing an in-depth, transparent accounting of our fiscal health. Representative Rice, Representative Barr, and Senator Sinema are to be commended for their leadership and we urge Congress to take action and pass this important resolution. This annual requirement to Congress by the Comptroller General will provide policymakers with critical financial data that should guide their decision-making processes.”
– Jeff Wasden, President & CEO, State Business Executives
“Policymakers across the spectrum should look to a Fiscal State of the Nation with confidence not trepidation. This specific hearing would provide a clear and unbiased venue to discuss, debate, and learn about the fiscal health of the United States. As we wait for the Senate to act on the resolution, which has overwhelming bipartisan support, I commend the leadership of Senators Sinema, Kelly, King, and Rosen for championing the Senate resolution as well as Representative Kathleen Rice and the 59 House Democratic cosponsors of H. Con. Res. 44.”
– Zach Moller, Director of the Economic Program at Third Way
“Lawmakers need to begin paying more attention to our fiscal outlook. An annual hearing by the Senate and House Budget Committees featuring the Comptroller General would shine some much-needed light on our unsustainable budget situation, rather than sweeping it under the carpet.”
– Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
Click here to tell the Senate to pass the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution today.