Omnibus Bill Highlights Need for Spending Caps
Policymakers are currently considering an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government through the remainder of the fiscal year. The bill includes over $1.5 trillion of regular appropriations – an increase of more than 6 percent from last year – along with supplemental funding related to the Russian war on Ukraine. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:
This entire episode is a reminder of why we need to reform the budget process: the bill is almost 6 months late, unconstrained by discretionary spending caps, and not being considered in the context of an overall fiscal plan. Pandemics, wars, and inflation are reminders of why you need to budget, and you need to do so responsibly. It is high time lawmakers return to this practice.
The current omnibus bill would increase spending by roughly $500 billion above CBO’s most recent baseline over the next decade. This increase would allow spending to roughly keep pace with inflation, but in doing so the bill will actually exacerbate inflationary pressures.
It's important that Congress fund the government and avoid a government shutdown. But with the debt approaching record levels as a share of the economy, inflation at a 40-year high, and many unknowns in the economy as a result of Russia’s actions, Congress should look to scale back this bill and determine where savings can be found.
Going forward, it’s time to restore reasonable and responsible discretionary spending caps to ensure future spending levels remain under control.
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