Congress Should Establish a Bipartisan Fiscal Commission
Calls have grown for a bipartisan fiscal commission in recent days. On Monday, an ideologically diverse group of experts and thought leaders urged Congress to establish a bipartisan commission to address the nation’s major fiscal and economic challenges. Earlier this year, Democrats and Republicans in the House Bipartisan Fiscal Forum and Problem Solvers Caucus also called for a fiscal commission.
The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
A bipartisan fiscal commission would seem to be the best way to facilitate an adult conversation about how to address our mounting national debt and its major drivers. Despite ongoing warning signals about our fiscal health, partisan politics makes it extremely difficult to enact fixes. But Democrats and Republicans need to be able to work together to solve these issues, putting both revenue and spending on the table.
The largest economy in the world shouldn’t face regular risk of a government shutdown. Lawmakers need to act quickly to extend government funding and to do so in a responsible way. But appropriations only make up a quarter of the budget. With interest rates rising and debt approaching a record share of the economy, we need a broader conversation that looks at all parts of the budget and tax code.
In the past, commissions have helped to address important economic, national security, and fiscal issues by supporting bipartisan negotiations, developing new policy ideas, and improving the national conversation on major policy issues. There are different forms a commission could take, and to be successful a commission must be truly bipartisan and must be able to consider revenue, spending, and other changes to allow for compromise and trade-offs.
Sooner or later, our leaders are going to have to put the public interest ahead of special interests. They should establish a bipartisan, bicameral fiscal commission and then work together, hand in hand, to put the budget and economy on a more sustainable track.
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Note: release was corrected on 9/22 to clarify that a commission could look beyond tax or spending changes.