CRFB Reacts to Proposed Fiscal Commission

Today, Bipartisan Fiscal Forum Co-Chairs Representatives Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and Scott Peters (D-CA) proposed bipartisan legislation to establish a fiscal commission, along with a bipartisan group of colleagues, Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA), Ed Case (D-HI), Tom Cole (R-OK), Jared Golden (D-ME), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Cory Mills (R-FL), Blake Moore (R-UT), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), and William Timmons (R-SC). The legislation is included in the Continuing Resolution that may receive a vote in the House today. 

The proposed commission would include 16 Members, 12 lawmakers and four outside experts, appointed by House and Senate leadership in both parties, and would be charged with putting forward recommendations to stabilize the debt and reduce the gap between revenue and spending. Recommendations would get fast track consideration in the House and Senate. 

The idea to establish a fiscal commission has had broad bipartisan support, including from Members of the House Bipartisan Fiscal Forum and Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan majority of the Senate, a diverse group of experts and thought leaders, former Senators and Members of Congress from both parties, among others. 

The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: 

It is refreshing and remarkable to see members of the two parties working together on such a challenging issue as dealing with the national debt in the midst of this dangerously partisan moment. 

With interest rates at a 15-year high and the national debt approaching a record share of the economy, it’s time to get serious about our unsustainable fiscal outlook. 

We can’t solve this problem by focusing only on a quarter of the budget, and a fiscal commission can help both parties come together to put all parts of the budget and tax code on the table and identify bipartisan solutions to some of our country’s most pressing challenges. A commission also has broad bipartisan support, in and outside of Congress. 

In the past, commissions have helped us save Social Security, improve military efficiency, strengthen national security, develop new ideas to improve the tax code, and elevate the national conversation on fiscal policy. 

Of course, we need a plan to keep the government open. It is completely unacceptable that policymakers haven’t already reached agreement on how to fund the government—it’s not as though this deadline came as a surprise. Shutdowns don’t save money, they waste money, and policymakers must work together to come to an agreement to fund the government as soon as possible. 

But we also urgently need a plan to slow our growing debt, save our endangered trust funds, grow our economy, and put the nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. 

A fiscal commission is by no means a guarantee of success, but it may be our best hope in this moment to address our mounting national debt. 


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