Womack, Case Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill Targeting Unsustainable National Debt
Washington, February 1, 2023
Washington, DC – February 1, 2023....Congressmen Steve Womack (AR-3) and Ed Case (HI-1) reintroduced the bipartisan Sustainable Budget Act to put America on a better fiscal and economic path. The legislation would create a national commission charged with developing policies to balance the budget within ten years and meaningfully address the nation’s exploding debt.
Congressman Womack said, “The stark fiscal reality we face should alarm every member. Our unsustainable trajectory is one of the greatest threats to America’s prosperity, security, and future generations. We need to implement every mechanism available to tackle the dysfunction. This bipartisan commission will help deliver needed policy solutions to chart a responsible way forward.”
Congressman Case said, “Three years ago, on introduction of our original measure and with total debt at $23 trillion and debt-to-GDP at 107%, I said on the House floor that our federal fiscal house was seriously out of order. Today, with debt now closing in on $32 trillion and debt-to-GDP ratio at 120%, that is a serious understatement. With the fastest-growing part of our federal budget interest on our national debt, increasingly outpacing and crowding out critical defense and non-defense spending alike, we are all well past denial and into the danger zone. We need look no further than a mirror to find the root cause: our collective inability to face the music of fiscal responsibility and sustainability.”
Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said, "I applaud Representatives Case and Womack for their bipartisan collaboration in proposing the Sustainable Budget Act. This bill would establish a commission to facilitate productive dialogue across the aisle to achieve a more fiscally sound future for our country. We commend them for introducing this common-sense legislation to tackle our nation's long-term debt."
The commission created by the Sustainable Budget Act would consist of 18 members chosen by the President, the Speaker of the House, the House minority leader, and Senate majority and minority leaders. They would be tasked with creating a bipartisan plan to reduce the deficit and balance the federal budget within 10 years. The national debt is currently on track to reach $32 trillion, with nearly $9 trillion being added since Womack and Case last introduced the bill in 2021. The Congressional Budget Office has raised the alarm, warning that our net interest costs will exceed other mandatory spending by 2030 and surpass spending for Social Security by 2045.
Womack has consistently advocated for solutions to fix the broken budget and appropriations process, which has failed the American people for too long. He co-chaired the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform and introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to modernize and streamline current processes. Some of the reforms he supported would have helped prevent past budget and appropriations dysfunction. Additionally, he called for moving to a biennial budget, ensuring realistic deadlines for Congress to complete its budget and appropriations work, and requiring a joint Budget Committee hearing on the Fiscal State of the Nation. The FY2019 budget Womack authored as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee was the last comprehensive fiscal blueprint produced by the House Budget Committee.
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.