Bill Would Dodge the “Fiscal Cliff” and Eliminate the Sequester
Aug 01 2012
WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee reintroduced legislation with 21 cosponsors that would put the country on a path toward sound financial footing, significantly reduce the annual deficit and national debt, and require Congress to balance the federal budget. The bill, known as “Cut, Cap, Balance,” would cut federal spending immediately, cap all future spending at sustainable levels, and demand that a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution first pass Congress and be sent to the States before Congress raises the statutory debt limit.
“The country is on an unsustainable fiscal path,” said Lee, a member of the Joint Economic Committee and author of the consensus Republican Balanced Budget Amendment. “Cut, Cap, Balance is the only plan with significant support in the House and Senate that will address our debt and deficits, control spending, and fundamentally change the way Washington does business.”
The legislation cuts $62 billion from discretionary spending in 2013, places caps on future spending over the next decade, and creates a glide path to balancing the budget by 2020. It also effectively “turns off” the sequester – the massive spending cuts to domestic and defense programs due to trigger at the end of the year – by amending the Budget Control Act and offsetting the cost of the sequester with other cuts.
The bill is an updated version of last year’s “Cut, Cap, Balance Act” and reflects new budget numbers. It currently has a growing list of 21 cosponsors in the Senate, and there are plans to introduce corresponding legislation in the House. In a CNN poll conducted when the bill was introduced last year, 66% of the country supported the Cut, Cap, Balance plan. The previous version of the plan passed easily in the House, but was then tabled by Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate.
“Congress has a spending problem and it’s our job to fix it. This plan does that,” said Lee. “It’s not right to ask the American people to pay for the debt Congress created, especially if it has not taken significant steps to reverse overspending. We have to identify our priorities, set responsible spending levels to meet them, and eliminate the trillion dollar deficits that are sapping the economy of precious resources. Cut, Cap, Balance moves us in the right direction so we can restore confidence in our economy, create jobs, and get the country moving again.”
Senator Lee’s bill is currently cosponsored by Sens. Paul (KY), DeMint (SC), Coburn (OK), Blunt (MO), Risch (ID), Toomey (PA), Graham (SC), Isakson (GA), Vitter (LA), Rubio (FL), Cornyn (TX), Crapo (ID), Johnson (WI), Alexander (TN), Chambliss (GA), Barrasso (WY), Inhoffe (OK), Hatch (UT), Boozman (AR), Wicker (MS), and Thune (SD). UPDATE: Senator Portman (OH) has joined the list of cosponsors.