Our nation faces many threats but perhaps the biggest is our growing, unsustainable national debt. Now exceeding $21 trillion, our debt is hurting our ability to prepare and respond to threats and crises, invest in infrastructure and other priorities, and grow jobs. During my visits to all 200 incorporated cities in Idaho, every meeting opened with a sober conversation about our debt and deficits. It is an urgent issue for many Idahoans who agree we must reduce our spending and balance the federal budget.
As a senior member of the Senate Budget, and Senate Finance Committees, I have authored and supported common-sense fiscal policies that seek to end the downward spiral to insolvency in which we currently find ourselves. These measures include a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution, increased oversight of budget requests and comprehensive reforms to major mandatory programs that are currently on track to be insolvent within a generation if they are not reformed.
I am proud to have been an original member of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, sometimes referred to as the Bowles-Simpson Commission and the Senate’s “Gang of Six” deficit reduction committee. Working with both Republicans and Democrats, the Commission examined all aspects of our nation’s budget and tax code and proposed recommendations to Congress and to then-President Obama for consideration.
Addressing our national debt remains a top priority for me in the Senate. Working collaboratively with my colleagues, I continue to press for reforms that place us on a long-term, sustainable fiscal path.