Blue Dogs Call on House Budget Committee to Produce a Budget

Mar 5, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition sent a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, calling on the House Budget Committee to produce a budget. Specifically, the Blue Dogs acknowledged that although spending caps have been set through the end of FY2021, producing an annual budget is a necessary first step toward reducing the deficit.

 

The Co-Chairs of the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility & Government Reform, Reps. Ben McAdams (UT-04) and Ed Case (HI-01), were the lead authors. The letter was signed by all members of Blue Dog Coalition leadership, Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Lou Correa (CA-46), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), and Kurt Schrader (OR-05). Additionally, the following members signed the letter: Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Rep. David Scott (GA-13), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02).

 

See below for the full text:

 

Dear Chairman Yarmuth:

 

We are writing to express our concerns regarding your statement that the House Budget Committee is unlikely to consider a Budget Resolution for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

Congress has not passed a broadly bipartisan budget resolution since the 1990s, when our nation was on the path to producing a budget surplus. However, since that time, both parties have been guilty of passing budgets—or producing no budgets at all—that have contributed to rising budget deficits. In order to achieve a budget surplus again, we believe both parties need to work together. At a time when our country faces a $1 trillion annual deficit and an unprecedented $23 trillion national debt, the American people cannot afford for the Budget Committee to abandon its responsibility to produce a budget.

 

Even though Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, which establishes spending limits through Fiscal Year 2021, it is still necessary to produce an annual budget in order to reduce our skyrocketing budget deficit. A lack of fiscal discipline has resulted in greater payments on interest incurred on the national debt than investments in our kids. As our country continues to face challenges, from fixing our crumbling infrastructure to addressing climate change, skyrocketing interest payments on the debt will limit our ability to make those necessary investments if we do not address this problem. Not only is that fiscally irresponsible, it is morally reprehensible to saddle our children and grandchildren with those interest bills and debt. 

 

The budget provides an important framework for Congress to review our nation’s fiscal state and lays out the necessary, tough decisions to put us on the path toward a balanced budget while investing in our future. In addition to providing the Appropriations Committee with topline discretionary spending limits, the budget can also provide important mechanisms to ensure fiscal discipline, such as directing committees to recommend changes to existing law that can result in deficit reduction.

 

Although the budget process has not worked as intended under both Republican and Democratic majorities over the past two decades, we firmly believe that now is the time for Democrats to lead an effort to get our fiscal house in order. We urge you to bring forward a budget this year to spur important bipartisan conversations about how we can get out of this fiscal mess. Thank you for your consideration, and we welcome the opportunity to work with you going forward.

 

Sincerely,

 

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