Blue Dogs Respond to CBO’s 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook

Jun 26, 2018
Press Release

Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the 2018 Long-Term Budget Outlook report. According to the CBO, federal debt held by the public will approach 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) within the next 10 years and 152 percent of GDP by 2048—far surpassing any amount of debt our country has ever held.

The national debt is currently more than $21 trillion. Every American man, woman and child holds a share of about $64,423 of the national debt. The CBO estimates that the United States will have to spend the same amount of money on interest payments as it does on Social Security by 2048—making interest payments the single largest government program by 2050.

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 statements:

“These projections show an outrageous and unacceptable amount of debt—and we have it because of irresponsible governing and a lack of political courage,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “Sadly, this Republican-led Congress and White House chose to continue down a fiscally-unsustainable path. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can be fiscally responsible—and we must be—for future generations of Americans. If we want to protect Social Security, Medicare, and other vital programs, we must legally require that we balance our budget in a responsible way. The Blue Dogs have a long history of standing for fiscal responsibility and advocating for a balanced budget—even when it was hard. For decades we have been bridging the divide between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, because we know this is the only way to get Washington working again. The Blue Dogs stand ready to reach across the aisle, put in the work, make the hard decisions, and finally get America’s fiscal house in order.”

“During the tax debate, nonpartisan experts and the Blue Dogs warned that the Republican tax bill would saddle Americans with a tremendous amount of debt today and into the future,” said Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. “Unfortunately, those warnings were not heeded, and our calls for bipartisan, revenue-neutral tax reform were ignored. This report reveals that we are now seeing only the beginning of the repercussions of the deficit-exploding Republican tax law. Allowing our debt to continue to grow will be a significant drag on our economy and undermine our government’s ability to manage unforeseen crises in the future. We must come together to work on a balanced, responsible solution that gets our debt under control, while protecting important safety nets like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.”

“This report is truly alarming, and it should bring about a point of reckoning in Washington when it comes to our nation’s fiscal sustainability,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “It is past time for Republicans and Democrats to prioritize fixing our nation’s debt rather than treating it as an afterthought. 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. We’ve got to come together to do something about this.”

"As today's CBO report makes all too 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 am ready and eager to join with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to tackle our country's ever-growing anchor of debt, which threatens families and businesses in New Jersey and across the country. It's time to act."

“These CBO projections should be a wakeup call for Members of Congress from both parties,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Co-Chair for the Blue Dog Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility. “The future of our nation depends on Members of Congress finding the political courage to work together and make the tough decisions to get our nation’s fiscal house back in order.  If we are going to change our current path, Congress must put partisanship aside, get back to regular order, and pass a budget on time. That’s why I’m proud to be the author of a balanced budget amendment that would force Congress to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

###