BOISE, Idaho – This week, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) sent a bipartisan, bicameral 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. Doing so would ensure more accurate cost estimates of legislation in Congress and increase government transparency for the general public.
The letter, which was signed by 68 Members of Congress, read in part, “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.”
The lawmakers continued, “Americans entrust Members of Congress with their taxpayer dollars and expect responsible stewardship when it comes to spending. Although our proposal is only a start to reducing our national debt, it is an important reform that we hope you all will consider.”
Background: The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 governs the Congressional budget process and charges the CBO with supplying data and cost estimates to the House and Senate Budget Committees. Currently, debt servicing costs (the total cost when factoring time and interest) are not included in CBO budget estimates, resulting in less efficient management of the growing national debt.
To read the full signed letter, click here.
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