Reps. Cloud, Case, and Sen. Lee Request Debt Servicing Costs Estimates

Washington, DC

Today, Congressmen Michael Cloud (TX-27), Congressman Ed Case (HI-01), and Senator Mike Lee (UT-R) sent a bicameral, bipartisan letter to the House and Senate Budget Committees, asking them to require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to include debt servicing costs whenever they produce an official cost estimate.

From the letter: “Our nation’s outstanding public debt recently surpassed $23 trillion, as reported by the Treasury Department on October 31, 2019. It was only nine months ago that the U.S.’s outstanding public debt reached $22 trillion. It is the responsibility of the House and Senate Budget Committees to oversee and help rein in uncontrolled spending.

“Requiring debt servicing costs is simply a start to reducing our massive national debt, but it’s an important reform. Congress should weigh the real cost of legislation instead of ignoring costs to make new programs seem like they’re not as expensive.”

Rep. Cloud, Rep. Case, and Sen. Lee issued the following joint statement regarding the letter:

“When Congress does not understand the true cost of a proposal, it is more likely to make decisions that endanger our ability to address future needs. Including debt servicing costs in legislative cost estimates will better equip lawmakers to make informed spending decisions. Members of Congress and congressional staff would benefit from this information, which can help better inform the development of legislation and voting decisions. It’s past time Congress puts an end to reckless spending.”

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said, “Our nation’s long-term fiscal situation is increasingly dire. Debt is rising faster than economic growth, and interest payments are the fastest-growing part of the budget. Our latest projections show that interest payments will reach over $800 billion within ten years. The federal government will spend more on interest than on children by 2021 and more on interest than on Medicaid by 2023. Given the ever-growing impact of interest costs, it is critical that they be included in budgetary estimates for legislation—and there is no reason anyone should oppose this increased level of transparency. Thank you to Senator Lee and Representatives Cloud and Case for leading an effort, along with a bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers, to ask for a common sense and overdue fix to this problem.”

Please find the full letter, with 68 signatures, HERE.

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