Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Commends Problem Solvers Caucus Budget Principles

Oct 21, 2020 | Budgets & Projections

The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus has approved a set of principles for addressing the national debt once we have moved past the immediate health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the health and economic response to the pandemic remains the nation’s top priority, the group’s recommendations would help set the stage to get the debt onto a sustainable trajectory once the economy has recovered.

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

Congress did the right thing earlier this year by prioritizing the economy and public health needs. Recessions and one-time emergencies are exactly the right time to be borrowing.

But our country was already on an unsustainable fiscal trajectory prior to the pandemic, and the current crisis and response has only lifted that debt further. For the first time since World War II, debt is now larger than the economy, and four major trust funds are within 11 years of insolvency.

Once this crisis passes, lawmakers will need to implement a long-term plan to secure these trust funds and address the national debt. We’re in unprecedented fiscal territory and can’t afford to ignore these problems.

We commend the Problem Solvers Caucus for working on a bipartisan basis to put forward common sense budget principles that recognize this. Solutions like adherence to PAYGO rules, annual reports on our nation’s fiscal health, debt-to-GDP targets, and bipartisan trust fund rescue committees would lay the groundwork to put our deficits and debt back on a sustainable trajectory and leave us with more room to respond to future downturns and crises.

These principles are similar to the budget process reforms proposed earlier this year by 60 House members and have the backing of responsible experts and lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. We hope they are adopted in the next Congress.

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For more information, please contact John Buhl, director of media relations, at buhl@crfb.org