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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) introduced legislation to reduce the more than $28 trillion of debt held by the general public and curb unjustified spending at the federal level. The Zero Based Budget Act would cut wasteful spending and reduce U.S. debt by requiring government agencies to justify their spending levels every six-years with a zero-based budget and propose a reduction in expenditures by 2 percent.

Additional cosponsors of the legislation include U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

“Congress must address its reckless spending problem,” said Risch. “The Zero Based Budget Act will require agencies to produce a budget which clearly outlines potential cuts to reduce the growing national debt so we don’t leave future generations footing the bill.”

“Our current fiscal crisis is unsustainable. I remain committed to restoring the federal budget to balance and the Zero-Based Budget Act would require scrutiny and justification of every program funded by the American taxpayer,” said Crapo. “We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to do nothing less than get our fiscal house in order.”

“The out of control spending and unrestricted expansion of our bloated federal government by this administration, aided by Congressional Democrats, is causing an inflation crisis—just one of the many crises facing American families and small businesses today. I’m proud to join with Sen. Risch to protect taxpayers from the burden of big government policies by forcing bureaucrats to routinely assess and cut inefficient or redundant government spending from their budgets. The Zero Based Budget Act is a commonsense step toward reining in government spending and returning to fiscal sanity,” said Cruz.

“As a lifelong Main Street businessman, I understand the importance of keeping a balanced budget. Federal government spending is out of control and has placed an enormous burden of debt on our children and grandchildren,” said Braun. “I am proud to introduce the Zero Based Budget Act with my colleagues to help the federal government take a vital step in the right direction to reduce government spending levels.”

This bill would make the following changes to current law:

  • Requires federal agencies to provide a zero based budget every 6 years and to reduce spending levels by 2 percent.
  • Exempts the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
  • Removes the assumption that current activities and funding are automatically continued.

Text of the bill can be found here.

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