Honorable Patty Murray Honorable Jeb Hensarling
Honorable Max Baucus Honorable Dave Camp
Honorable John Kerry Honorable Fred Upton
Honorable John Kyl Honorable James Clyburn
Honorable Rob Portman Honorable Chris Van Hollen
Honorable Patrick Toomey Honorable Xavier Becerra
We greatly appreciate the work you are doing to restore the United States to sound fiscal footing. For too long our country has spent trillions of dollars that we do not have, and now is the time to begin getting our house in order. Although your mandate is to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, we write to ask you to go big and secure the largest deficit reduction package possible and enact reforms to improve our budget process moving forward.
Since the deficit reduction debate began in earnest earlier this year, one target has been consistently advanced as the minimum amount of deficit reduction to restore our fiscal health: $4 trillion. The Bowles-Simpson committee identified this as the proper target, as has the Senate “Gang of Six.” $4 trillion is also the common thread between Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan and the proposals advanced by President Obama. We urge you to use this opportunity to go big and reduce our deficit by $4 trillion and make a historic and lasting impact on our deficit and debt. Our constituents are demanding bold action and, given the gridlock experienced in Washington this year, it is likely that smaller deal will entrench stakeholders rather than bring them together.
We have been meeting regularly during the 112th Congress to discuss bipartisan reforms that can increase budget accountability. We believe the Supercommittee should seize this opening to implement long overdue changes in how the Congress considers the budget.
These reforms include:
• CBO and JCT analysis of the second decade budget impact for any bill that they score for Congress.
• OMB annual reports examining our unbudgeted fiscal exposures.
• Regular performance reviews by the Department of Treasury, in conjunction with OMB and the policy-relevant federal agency, of all tax expenditures.
• A bi-annual budget process.
• The use of accrual accounting in examining the federal budget.
• An annual “revenue stability projection report” to Congress by OMB or the Department of Treasury.
• Mechanisms to ensure that spending begins to accurately reflect revenues.
While addressing our fiscal crisis will still require bold action, these reforms will allow future Congresses to better appreciate our budget and keep our deficit moving downwards.
Again, we greatly appreciate the hard work you are doing and understand the enormity of the task before you. We respectfully request that you consider the targets and reforms we have proposed, and look forward to working with you moving forward.