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U.S. National Debt:

Crapo Backs Balanced Budget Legislation, Biennial Budget Process

New CBO projections show national debt expected to grow by $9 trillion over the next decade

Washington, D.C.  - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a long-time proponent of a balanced federal budget, has signed onto several bills in this session of Congress that call for balancing the federal budget and controlling spending by moving to a biennial budget process at the federal level.  Released today, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) annual Budget and Economic Outlook report shows that, absent action, the United States continues to remain on an unsustainable fiscal path with the national debt expected to grow by $9 trillion over the course of the next ten years.  According to CBO, the cost of the interest payments alone on the debt are expected to rise to 5.6 trillion, which would account for roughly 13.5 percent of total federal spending.

As a member of both the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, Crapo has backed balanced budgets since serving in the U.S. House and participating in the 1997 ceremonial dumping of the tax code in the Boston Harbor.

"As a nation, we recently surpassed $18 trillion in debt and, despite record revenues coming into the U.S. Treasury, we went almost half a trillion dollars deeper in debt during 2014," Crapo said.  "When President Obama took office we were $10 trillion in debt; with now-record revenues coming in, you can see that debt figure has nearly doubled and shows the problem is spending, not taxes."

The new balanced budget legislation would:

  • Mandate that the President submit a balanced budget to Congress;
  • Require that 2/3s of the U.S. Senate and House would be needed to approve certain tax increases and new deficit spending;
  • Stop court rulings that would impose tax increases that would bypass Congress.

Crapo is also co-sponsoring the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, which would extend the fiscal year budgeting process from one to two years.  Crapo says such a process will hold down yearly budget increase requests and sharpen congressional oversight of budget requests.

The Accurate Budgeting Act, reintroduced by Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is also being co-sponsored by Crapo.  That measure would require the Joint Committee on Taxation to release a more detailed score of revenue and economic effects for most tax-related bills introduced into the Congress.