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Arrington, Peters Pen Bipartisan Letter on Need For Budget Reform, Debt Reduction

Rep. Jodey Arrington (TX-19) released the following statement after 60 colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, joined him and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) in writing congressional leadership to address budget reform proposals:

"As our country recovers from this unprecedented public health and economic disaster, Congress must commit to reducing our runaway national debt or face an ever bigger crisis with even graver consequences," said Rep. Arrington. "With mounting deficits before the pandemic and now trillions in recent spending, our nation’s debt has eclipsed the size of the entire US economy.  I’m proud to work with Representative Peters and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to include provisions in the next COVID legislation that will force Congress to address this looming crisis before it’s too late.

“Containing the virus and addressing immediate economic calamity remain our top priorities,” said Rep. Peters in a statement following the release of the letter. “In times of crisis, when the economy is struggling and households across the country are losing income, there’s no question we need to protect the lives and livelihood of the American people. Then, during periods of growth, we must correct our course to get our budget back on track. After the short-term stimulus has done its job and the economy recovers, then we must tackle medium- and long-term deficit reduction. I thank Rep. Arrington for joining me in garnering support from colleagues to form a bipartisan budget reform agenda that prepares us to address our federal deficit once the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.”

“We, therefore, respectfully request that further pandemic-response legislation include provisions for future budget reforms to ensure we confront these issues when the economy is strong enough. These reforms should have broad, bipartisan support. They should not stand in the way of our making the necessary decisions to deal with the crisis at hand. They should ensure that, in addition to addressing health and economic needs, we lay the foundation for a sustainable fiscal future by building on reforms with established bipartisan support,” the letter reads.

To read the full letter and see the full list of cosigners, please click here.

"We're delighted to see Representatives Arrington and Peters lead this effort to put forward a bipartisan framework for budget reforms. Responding to the pandemic is paramount right now, but we'll need to pivot to addressing our unsustainable debt trajectory when the economic and health crises have receded. This framework would be an important step toward ensuring we both take necessary measures to strengthen the economy during this emergency, and then strengthen our fiscal situation once we are on sounder economic footing. Their leadership is appreciated."
 -Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

 "Rep. Arrington and Rep. Peters are exactly right to bring attention to the skyrocketing national debt. As GDP and revenues fall while government spending rises, the nation's deficit is exploding. Congress must make meaningful budget reforms and return transparency, accountability, and responsibility to the budget process.” -Jessica Anderson, Executive Director of Heritage Action for America

“I commend Rep. Peters, Rep. Arrington and the other bipartisan Members of Congress who are calling for additional fiscal transparency over the financial condition and fiscal outlook of the country, greater accountability and mechanisms to address the sustainability challenges associated with social insurance ‘Trust Funds’, and revised budget controls in light of the huge increases in debt/GDP that will result from the impacts of COVID-19. These Members rightfully understand that emergency actions were needed to address COVID-19, but that it is also important to demonstrate to the American people the need to put the nation’s finances in order when we defeat this virus.” -Hon. David M. Walker , Former Comptroller General of the United States