CONGRESS MUST PRIORITIZE RESPONSIBLE SPENDING IN YEAR-END DEALS

November 20, 2017
Washington, D.C.
Signatures updated: 11/21/17

For years, conservatives have been sounding the alarm on growing debt and deficits. A red tidal wave of debt threatens the health of the economy, business creation, the ability of families to create wealth. In doing so, exploding debt threatens no less than the American dream.

When Republicans obtained unified control of the government in January, many conservatives expected a return to fiscal discipline, and an effort to control the massive growth in deficits that occurred under President Obama. Unfortunately, Congress has so far failed to prioritize debt management and deficit reduction.

As Congress approaches the December 8 deadline to fund the government, we urge the House and Senate use this as an opportunity to return to responsible fiscal management. Specifically, we call on Congress to take the following actions.

Maintain the domestic spending cap passed in the Budget Control Act (BCA). According to numerous press reports, Members of Congress are discussing a potential deal that would remove the non-defense discretionary spending cap. This would be a mistake.

The BCA spending caps represent one of the most significant fiscal retrenchments in decades. After years of unfulfilled promises to cut spending, the BCA has actually done it. Since its implementation in 2011, discretionary spending, adjusted for inflation, has been cut by 16 percent from its peak of $1.3 trillion.

If Congress undoes spending caps now, it will undo the first consecutive stretch of declining federal outlays since President Eisenhower’s first term in office. We urge Republicans in Congress to maintain their commitment to fiscal discipline and keep the non-defense discretionary cap in place.

Do not bail out health insurance companies. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have openly contemplated a bailout of the health insurance companies by reinstating cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs). These payments were initiated unilaterally and illegally by the Obama administration, and have been rightly terminated by President Trump.

According to recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the bailout contemplated by Sens. Murray and Alexander would provide $4 to $5 billion to health insurance companies, on the backs of the taxpayer. This would be far larger than any benefit that consumers would receive from the legislation. Worse still, CBO estimates that this bailout would not actually reduce federal spending. In fact, CBO’s analysis suggests that overall federal spending will rise as insurers pocket some of the federal bailout money instead of giving consumers a break on costs.

Bailing out health insurance companies is not the answer to rising healthcare costs, nor is it the panacea to a failing system. Obamacare is a policy failure and Congress needs to repeal it. It is unthinkable that, after promising to repeal this law for nearly a decade, Republicans in Congress have still failed to do so.

The only future action on Obamacare that is acceptable to conservatives is full repeal.

Pay for future emergency spending. Since September, Congress has approved more than $50 billion in disaster assistance to pay for hurricane-related damage around the country. In many cases, this money has been wisely spent. In others, it has not. For example, in a $36.5 billion disaster relief package passed in October, $16 billion went to bail out the financially troubled National Flood Insurance Program without instituting oversight or reforms.

Spending of this nature cannot continue unabated. In just the last fiscal year, government spending increased the deficit by $82 billion, taking the total deficit to $666 billion.

Any future disaster spending must be offset with cuts elsewhere. We applaud the efforts of the Office of Management and Budget, which provided a list of $5.6 billion in suggested offsets to Congress, which were later ignored by lawmakers. Likewise, the President’s budget contains more than $50 billion in cuts to discretionary spending that could be used as offsets.

With dangerous levels of debt, we urge Republicans in Congress to exercise responsible fiscal management and provide offsets to future disaster assistance.

Growing debts and deficits threaten the American economy and the fulfillment of the American dream. We urge Congress to again make fiscal discipline a priority.


 

 

The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan
Diana Banister
President and Partner
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs
The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Chairman
Constitutional Congress, Inc.
The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Former Chief Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan
The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio
The Honorable Jim DeMint
Former Member (SC)
United States Senate
Ed Corrigan
Former Executive Director
Senate Steering Committee
Rachel Bovard
Former Policy Director
Senate Steering Committee
David Bozell
President
ForAmerica
Jenny Beth Martin
Chairman
Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund
Alfred S. Regnery
Chairman
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
Michael A. Needham
CEO
Heritage Action
The Honorable David McIntosh
President
Club for Growth
Rebecca Hagelin
Secretary, Council for National Policy
Board of Directors, FamilyTalk
James C. Dobson Ph.D.
Founder & President
Family Talk
The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli II
President
Senate Conservatives Fund
The Honorable James C. Miller III
Office of Management and Budget
Director for President Ronald Reagan
Rod D. Martin
Founder & CEO
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Sherri R. Martin
Executive Vice President
The Martin Organization, Inc.
Haley E. Martin
President
The Martin Foundation
Evelio Silvera
Campaign for the American Future
Nicholas Stehle
Campaign for the American Future
Shawn A. Mitchell
Former National Chaplain
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Judson Phillips
Founder
Tea Party Nation
Col. Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret)
President
Civitas Institute
The Honorable Mike Spence
Founding President
Conservative Republicans of California
Roxanne Phillips
Member, Executive Committee
Council for National Policy
Jim Backlin
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America
Lewis K. Uhler
Founder and President
National Tax Limitation Committee
Ralph Benko
Columnist
Norm Singleton
President
Campaign for Liberty
Jason Jones
President
Movie to Movement
Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman
Eagle Forum
Magdalena Briones
Assistant to CEO
Movieguide
Christopher Malagisi
Editor in Chief
Conservative Book Club
Ann Drexel
Member, Board of Governors
Council for National Policy
David Williams
President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Willes K. Lee
President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies
Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Washington Bureau Chief
Infowars.com
James L. Martin
Founder & Chairman
60 Plus Association
Allen Hebert
Chairman
American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston
Kay R. Daly
President
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
The Honorable Mike Hill
Former Member
Florida State House of Representatives
Robert K. Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith
Peter J. Thomas
Chairman
The Conservative Caucus
Tim LeFever
Chairman
Capitol Resource Institute
Floyd Brown
Chairman
Western Center for Journalism
John F. Tate
President
America’s Liberty PAC
John P. McCardell
President
America’s Liberty Committee
Elaine Donnelly
President
Center for Military Readiness
The Honorable Belden Bell
Legacy Society Co-Chair
The Heritage Foundation
C. Preston Noell III
President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.
Penna Dexter
Co-host
Point of View Radio
William W. Pascoe, III
Managing Partner
Antietam Communications
Ralph A. Rebandt, II
Senior Pastor/Chaplain
Oakland Hills Community Church/Michigan Association of Police Chiefs
Michael R. Long
State Chairman
NYS Conservative Party
Robert Alt
President & CEO
The Buckeye Institute
Nancy Schulze
Founder
Republican Congressional Wives Speakers
Charles J. Cooper
Former Assistant Attorney General, Ronald Reagan Administration
Cooper & Kirk PLLC
Ron Robinson
President
Young America’s Foundation
Martha Boneta
Executive Vice President
VCS
Robert D. Thompson
Former Administrator
The Weyrich Lunch
Anthony Saliba
CEO
Saliba Venture Managment
Kevin Freeman
Founder
NSIC Institute
Caroline Camden Lewis
Owner
Percipio Communications
Kelly M. Kullberg
President
America Conservancy
David Kullberg
Executive Director
Christians for A Sustainable Economy (CASE4America.org)
Dr. Virginia Armstrong
National Chairman, Eagle Forum’s Court Watch
National Eagle Forum

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