Tentative Senate Appropriations Deal Would Undermine Bipartisan Deficit Reduction

According to press reports, Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Vice Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) have reached a tentative deal to boost Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 appropriations levels by $34.5 billion by designating some ordinary spending as emergency funding. Specifically, they would increase defense discretionary spending by $21 billion and nondefense discretionary spending by $13.5 billion, and these spending increases would be on top of the side deals that may be adopted. If enacted and continued without offsets, this increase would add more than $350 billion to the debt through 2034. Along with the other side deals, this would reverse more than half of the $1.5 trillion of savings achieved by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

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

Let’s start with a simple question: the debt is at near-record levels, interest payments cost more than defense, and our largest government programs are heading towards insolvency – is now the time to add more to the national debt? If you think the answer is yes, then this is the plan for you. 

The idea that senators would propose to backslide from the Fiscal Responsibility Act caps – the only significant fiscal progress we have made in more than a decade – at this treacherous fiscal moment really calls into question their ability to govern responsibly. All the warning signals are blinking frantically. Now is the moment to make changes to bring the debt down, not up. 

No doubt, we live in a dangerous world and there are many unmet needs. But we can’t borrow our way to safety or prosperity. A strong national security requires a sustainable fiscal situation, and supporting our children means not burdening them with ever-rising levels of debt.

Appropriators should stick to the FRA caps by prioritizing where to spend and where to make cuts. And any necessary increases should be fully paid for with honest offsets – not fake emergencies. This is no time to start backtracking.


For more information, please contact Matt Klucher, Assistant Director for Media Relations, at klucher@crfb.org.