By Justin Bogie
Congress achieved major success in 2017 by passing the first meaningful tax reform in decades, but fell short in other areas of the budget and spending.
This year, important issues loom, including defense and non-defense appropriations for the remainder of the year, the debt limit, an infrastructure plan, and health care and entitlement reforms, among others.
Here are seven priorities that Congress should address this year:
1. Reform and extend the Budget Control Act.
While imperfect, the Budget Control Act is one of the few tools available to control spending and slow the growth of the federal deficit.
The law has saved hundreds of billions of dollars since its enactment. Instead of passing another budget deal that raises the caps and adds potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in unpaid-for new spending, Congress should stick to the overall spending totals agreed to in 2011.
In doing so, it should remove the categorical caps for defense and non-defense spending, and extend the act. This would allow Congress to prioritize national defense spending, a constitutional mandate, without piling on to the already growing tab that current and future taxpayers will someday have to pay for.
2. Enforce a real debt limit.
If past budget deals are any indication, it’s likely that the looming budget deal could also include a debt-limit increase.
Pairing spending increases with raising the debt limit is fiscally dangerous. The debt limit is a different animal and should be handled separately.
The country is more than $20 trillion in debt. Before agreeing to another debt-limit increase, Congress must first show a commitment to meaningful spending reforms.
Lawmakers should pursue budget-process reforms, such as a statutory limit on all federal spending with real deadlines and automatic enforcement mechanisms. Lawmakers should commit to fiscal responsibility, engage in meaningful budget debate, and pursue deliberate, targeted reforms to the country’s …read more
From:: Daily Signal – Feed