February 22, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ahead of March 11th’s government funding deadline, U.S. Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA-52) and Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19) led 22 of their colleagues in a bipartisan letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, calling on House Leadership to get Congress’ fiscal house in order while crafting a new spending package for Fiscal Year 2022.
“As we work towards a full economic recovery, there are still several massive challenges to address. Inflation is at a level not seen in decades and the federal debt is nearly the size of the economy... In the decades to follow, our debt trajectory will continue to accelerate with no end in sight,” the members write. “It’s our job to responsibly fund the government and avoid costly ‘continuing resolutions’ and shutdowns. At the same time, we owe it to our children to acknowledge our country's unsustainable fiscal trajectory and work together, across the aisle, to address it over time.”
The lawmakers laid out two specific provisions for consideration:
- Provisions to create a debt commission. The group pointed to the Sustainable Budget Act as a workable model. Alternatively, other bipartisan commissions to address fiscal challenges and near-term trust fund insolvency would create forums for bipartisan solutions.
- Provisions to help ensure that we complete responsible budgets that will reduce the long-term debt-to-GDP and the threat of default from the debt ceiling while providing opportunities for members to bring forward bipartisan debt reduction proposals. The Responsible Budgeting Act is one example of legislation that would help accomplish these goals.
The letter’s other signers include Representatives Ed Case (D-HI-01), Bill Johnson (R-OH-06), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-05), Ron Estes (R-KS-04), Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA-07), Randy Freenstra (R-IA-04), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), Bill Huizenga (R-MI-02), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Peter Meijer (R-MI-03), Dean Phillips (D-MD-03), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Bryan Steil (R-WI-01), Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), Blake Moore (R-UT-01), Warren Davidson (R-OH-08), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06) and Tom Rice (R-SC-07).
Reps. Peters and Arrington first joined forces in June 2020 to underline the need for Congress to follow up emergency COVID spending with smart budget reforms once the economy stabilized and the pandemic came to an end. Signed by 58 other members, their letter showed broad, bipartisan support for an agenda that focuses on budgeting transparency, accountability and responsibility. The letter also originated their “30 for 30” caucus — a dedicated group of 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans spanning the ideological and geographic spectrum that want to find long-term solutions to address the national debt.
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.