WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Support for the FY 2020 Budget Resolution
House Budget Committee Ranking Member Steve Womack (R-AR): “I commend Chairman Enzi for introducing a realistic and achievable budget, and for his intention to advance this resolution in the coming weeks. As lawmakers sitting on the budget committees in the House and Senate, we all have a responsibility to lead federal spending decisions that fund the priorities of the American people while also addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges.”
Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander: “The Senate Budget Committee released its draft of a Budget Resolution for fiscal year 2020 and it represents an important step toward fiscal responsibility. [T]his budget resolution is an important step in the right direction… [and] looks like a fiscally sensible alternative.”
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas: “We applaud the committee for putting forth a budget that includes significant deficit reduction and a realistic fiscal goal of returning deficits to their historical average within five years. It is a roadmap for beginning to improve the fiscal situation, providing a framework to address discretionary spending caps and the insolvent Highway Trust Fund. Encouragingly, it calls for any deal to increase the spending caps to be fully offset. As a first step, this is what a serious budget looks like.
“It is a positive step to see a plan that uses reasonable economic assumptions and rejects gimmicks like the significant abuse of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account in the President’s Budget. After the last use of reconciliation to pass a budget-busting tax bill, it is encouraging to see reconciliation return to being aimed at reducing deficits.”
American Action Forum President Douglas Holtz-Eakin: “Senator Mike Enzi released his Chairman’s Mark for the Fiscal Year 2020 Senate Budget Resolution. The surprise was not that the Budget Committee was pursuing a resolution; the surprise was that the budget was utterly realistic and not a mere messaging document. The typical messaging budget is built on a rosy economic scenario; the Chairman’s Mark assumes the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) economic projections.
“In recent years, it has been common for budget resolutions to pretend to come to balance over 10 years, regardless of the size of deficits the country is facing. The Chairman’s Mark differs in two important ways. First, it covers only the next 5 years. That eliminates the artificiality of big deficit reduction in the second 5 years of a 10-year window. Second, it cuts total deficits by $538 billion over those 5 years, but leaves a deficit of $748 billion (2.9 percent of gross domestic product or GDP) in 2024. That’s a much more realistic outlook.
“It achieves this with a combination of $179 billion in increased revenue and $362 billion in mandatory spending reduction. One notable feature of the budget is its treatment of discretionary spending. At the end of fiscal year 2019 (on September 30), the deal reached in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 expires and discretionary spending snaps back to the budget caps imposed by the Budget Control Act (BCA). The Chairman’s Mark meets the BCA caps, but “creates the infrastructure to adjust these levels if an agreement on revised funding levels is reached to fully meet defense needs.” In English, Congress can spend more on defense and non-defense discretionary spending and still comply with the budget resolution if it reduces mandatory spending to offset the increase.
“The proposed resolution is a sensible, modest approach. It would be a pleasant surprise any day of the week.”
National Taxpayers Union Foundation: “Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2020. The blueprint presents a five-year plan to reduce the deficit by over $538 billion over the next five years. This would cut the on-budget deficit from 3.2 percent in 2019 to 2.3 percent in 2024, well below the historical average of 3.5 percent. The resolution recognizes that mandatory spending is “out of control” and seeks to find sensible reductions. Enzi’s resolution is commendable for seeking to build momentum toward balance through sensible, achievable budget reforms.”
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “The FY 2020 Senate budget adopts a more achievable fiscal goal, bringing a much-needed dose of realism and fiscal responsibility to the budget process. It eschews gimmicks, including the most egregious use of rosy economic assumptions and the OCO account in the President's Budget. Hopefully, this budget will be the start of a productive process to deal with the discretionary spending caps and begin to grapple with our unsustainable deficits.”
American Action Forum: “The Senate Budget Committee Chairman’s Mark for the FY2020 Budget Resolution…is remarkable in that, unlike many recent budget plans from Congress or the administration, it has a nodding acquaintance with reality. It does not assume rosy economic growth, but rather hews to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) economic forecast. It does not purport to balance in 10 years, a task that is increasingly a flight of fancy. Rather, it acknowledges the reality of prevailing fiscal policy and attempts to restrain growing deficits through a modest mix of reduced mandatory spending and higher revenues over the next 5 years. It is exactly the right place to begin a discussion of how to realistically improve the budgetary outlook in the near term.”
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