Blue Dog Coalition Reacts to CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook

Jun 30, 2017
Press Release

Yesterday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the June 2017 Budget and Economic Outlook. According to the CBO, in fiscal year 2017, the budget deficit will total $693 billion, or 3.6 percent of the GDP—$134 billion more than prior estimates and the highest projection since 2012. America’s debt will grow from $14.3 trillion today to $25.5 trillion by 2027—and in 10 years, the nation’s debt will be 91 percent of the GDP.

Today, the co-chairs of the fiscally responsible Blue Dog Coalition—Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)—and the co-chairs of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility—Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)— issued the following statement:

“This report should sound alarm bells for Republicans and Democrats in Washington to get their act together when it comes to our nation’s fiscal sustainability,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “Americans are already feeling squeezed financially as a result of our current debt. If this isn’t fixed in a real way, every American will feel even more repercussions. They’ll see higher interest rates on their credit cards, mortgages, car loans, and student loans. It will diminish private investment in our country, and in turn, Americans will have fewer jobs and lower incomes. We’ve got to come together to do something about this.”

“Fixing our nation’s debt must be a priority for everyone in Washington,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. “This report shows exactly what happens if we don’t take a fiscally-responsible approach to major reforms in our system. That’s why the Blue Dogs have been calling for real tax reform that is a long-term solution that addresses our nation’s fiscal crisis—not just unpaid tax cuts that will worsen the debt. Allowing our debt to continue to grow will be a significant drag on our economy, and undermine our government’s ability to maintain health care and retirement security programs and to manage unforeseen crises in the future.”

“Since our founding in 1995, the Blue Dogs have always called for fiscal responsibility, and we have warned that we must address our nation’s debt to avoid compromising America’s future economic opportunities,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “This report reflects what the Blue Dogs have been saying all along, that we must take serious action to reduce our debt if we want to avoid another fiscal crisis. Our national debt is nearly $20 trillion, and we are on a path to adding to that debt by $1.0 trillion annually if we continue current policy. We must legally require that we balance our budget, something the Blue Dogs have been advocating for decades. The Blue Dogs will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats alike to get this done for the American people, and for future generations.”

"As this new report makes abundantly clear, we must get our nation's fiscal house in order—and fast," said Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Co-Chair for the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility. "I, along with my colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition, stand ready to work across the aisle to face this problem head on, because we can't get our economy moving again without addressing our country's ever-growing anchor of debt."

“The CBO report provides stark new evidence that we are on an unsustainable fiscal path—placing our economy and our children’s future in peril,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Co-Chair for the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility. “That is why I recently introduced a balanced budget amendment and why I’m proud to join the Blue Dogs in demanding fiscal responsibility. For the sake of our nation, it is time for Congress to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to our duty to be responsible stewards of our constituents’ tax dollars.”