Washington Must Avoid Budget-Busting Christmas Tree Legislation

For Immediate Release 

Back from Thanksgiving recess, Congress now has less than three weeks to fund the government before the current continuing resolution expires on December 20. As negotiations continue, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget urges lawmakers to enact clean appropriations bills rather than coupling a year-end funding bill with debt-financed tax cuts and spending increases. 


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

With budget deficits approaching the trillion-dollar mark, the last thing we need is budget-busting Christmas tree legislation. We of course need to avoid a government shutdown, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to add even more to the national debt.


Special interests will surely claim an urgent need to bring back zombie tax breaks that expired two years ago, prop up underfunded pensions, cancel the revenue sources meant to fund the Affordable Care Act, and circumvent the already massively increased budget caps to add even more spending. But if these policies are worth doing, they are worth paying for. They shouldn’t need to be tacked on to a must-pass funding bill in the eleventh hour with no pay-fors. 


The $1.7 trillion Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 already greased the wheels plenty for an easy appropriations process; we don’t need to add another $135 billion to $2.2 trillion of debt to get lawmakers to do their jobs. 


Congress and the President must pursue a clean appropriations process, free of gimmicks and unnecessary add-ons. If any tax cuts or spending increases are included in a year-end spending bill, they should be offset under PAYGO rules and not allowed to further burden our kids and grandkids.


For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at tomchik@crfb.org