WASHINGTON – On Monday, April 27, Rep. Jim Banks joined another colleague in seeking to slow down the rapidly growing federal debt that is ballooning as a result of federal assistance for the pandemic.
Banks, in a letter to House and Senate leadership, joined US Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana in a letter outlining a conservative blueprint for Congress to flatten the nation’s climbing “debt curve” while it works to provide necessary COVID-19 relief.
Banks is a member of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) Budget and Spending Task Force. Johnson is the chairman.
Congress has now committed almost $3 trillion in emergency spending to battle the economic fallout from the coronavirus, according to various news outlets including the Washington Post.
Rather than increasing revenue, the two are looking at spending cuts.
Specifically, they are suggesting:
- Offset future COVID-19-related deficit spending.
- Implement a long-term spending control mechanism that restricts growth of both mandatory and discretionary spending, and does not rely on tax increases to stabilize the nation’s debt.
“Congress must offset debt impacts of COVID-19 legislation by passing a new, fiscally responsible budget that shrinks government to a more proper size,” said Rep. Banks. “The good news is we have one we could pass right now. My colleagues and I on the Republican Study Committee introduced a budget last year that’d balance the budget in six years, rein in federal spending and cut waste. Our children and grandchildren shouldn’t be stuck with this burden.”
The RSC’s budget proposes a number of tools that each would contribute to the long-term stabilization of debt. For instance, it recommends automatic votes to considering the deficit reductions offered in a budget resolution, expanding the reconciliation process to include on and off-budget items and discretionary spending, requiring super-majority votes for emergency spending and expanding mandatory sequestration.
“Protecting the physical health of Americans doesn’t have to jeopardize the fiscal health of our nation,” Johnson said. “With the right mix of offsets and spending controls, we can do both.”