April 30, 2020
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell, and Minority Leader Schumer:
Over the past two months, Congress has passed and President Trump has signed into law significant legislation aimed at combating the health impacts of COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the government’s response. In total, this legislative response has resulted in more than $2.5 trillion in new spending.
While there is plenty to debate about the merits of each dollar that has been spent responding to COVID-19 at this point, our organizations are committed to a responsible federal government and are united in our dismay at the ever-escalating debt burden of our country. Outside of spending related to COVID-19, our deficit for this year will surpass $1 trillion and will remain that high or higher for the foreseeable future. It is important to the future of our nation that Congress works to slow our spending and reduce our debt.
Earlier this week, Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson and Representative Jim Banks, chairman of the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force, sent a letter to congressional leaders calling for offsets to future COVID-19-related spending and for a long-term spending control mechanism. We applaud and add our support to their efforts.
The RSC has long been a voice of fiscal responsibility in Congress. In 2011, at the height of our nation’s focus on out-of-control spending, the RSC developed a three-part plan for lowering spending levels and reducing our debt. Known as “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” their plan heavily influenced congressional leaders and played a large role in pushing Congress to adopt the Budget Control Act. While certainly not at the level of spending control necessary at that time, it had a positive impact on our overall spending for several years.
As our nation’s long term fiscal position erodes precipitously, America urgently needs Congress to once again focus on our nation’s finances. Each of our groups are ready with solutions to assist you with these difficult decisions.
We thank Chairman Johnson, Representative Banks, and the RSC for once again taking a lead on spending restraint. It is encouraging that our elected officials are strengthening their resolve to secure our nation’s future.
Heritage Action for America
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Jonathan M. Bydlak
Director, Fiscal & Budget Policy Project
R Street Institute
Americans for Tax Reform
The Heartland Institute
Kevin Roberts, PhD
Texas Public Policy Forum
Independent Women’s Forum
Heather R. Higgins
Chief Executive Officer
Independent Women’s Voice
American Conservative Union
Executive Vice President
National Taxpayer Union
Lisa B. Nelson
Taxpayers for Common Sense