Using Gimmicks to Pass a Spending Bill that Busts Budget Limits Is Reckless and Fiscally Irresponsible

For Immediate Release

The House of Representatives is considering a so-called “minibus” spending bill combining the defense, military construction, veterans, legislative branch and energy and water appropriations bills. The bill would provide $614.1 billion in regular funding for defense, $65 billion in excess of the $549 billion defense spending limit established by the Budget Control Act. There are additional defense programs that will be included in other appropriations bills, which totaled $7.3 billion in fiscal year 2017. The bill also designates $75 billion in spending as Overseas Contingency Operations exempt from spending limits, $10 billion above the Pentagon's request. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas issued the following statement:


Using gimmicks to pass a spending bill that busts budget limits set in law is reckless, fiscally irresponsible, and completely at odds with promises to control spending.


The Budget Control Act that imposed sequestration and set those limits was intended to enforce promised deficit reduction. Congress and the President should negotiate a responsible budget agreement that achieves savings through smart policies to replace the cuts imposed by sequestration and achieve further deficit reduction. Such an agreement will allow Congress to pass spending bills that meet priorities without doing further harm to our fiscal condition. With the deficit projected to continue to increase, policymakers should be working to achieve additional deficit reduction, not reverse the deficit reduction already agreed to.


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