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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Ted Budd (R-N.C.) introduced the Zero Based Budget Act to reduce the more than $31 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.

“Democrats’ radical fiscal policies are doing nothing but burdening future generations, and the continuous spending is putting America into an increasingly dangerous financial situation,” said Risch. “Through the Zero Based Budget Act, Congress can push federal agencies back into line by creating transparency and a means to save taxpayer dollars. My legislation will require agencies to justify their spending levels every six years and propose expenditure reductions by two percent. With good governance and additional fiscally responsible legislation, there is hope we can put America back on track.”

“The Zero Based Budget Act is commonsense policy that will help end the unsustainable debt spiral that is the current federal budgeting system,” said Crapo. “Requiring the examination and justification of every program funded by the American taxpayer is a major step toward reducing our spending and balancing the federal budget.”

“As a lifelong Main Street entrepreneur, I know how keeping a balanced budget is integral to the successes of any business endeavor. Federal government spending is out of control and has placed a relentless debt burden on our future generations,” said Braun. “I am proud to introduce the Zero Based Budget Act with my colleagues to help the federal government take a vital step to reduce government spending levels and give our children and grandchildren a fighting chance.”

“Decades of Washington’s backward budgeting and reckless deficit spending has put our nation in a $31 trillion federal debt crisis and Democrats want you to believe there is no way out. To finally get our fiscal house in order, it’s time to start living within our means – like every family and business has to,” said Scott. “Our bill, the Zero Based Budget Act, holds the federal government accountable to help pay down our debt by reviewing the budget and prioritizing spending that truly provides a positive return on investment for American taxpayers.”

 “Our nation’s fiscal policy is a disaster due to Democrats’ reckless spending spree. The $300 billion non-defense discretionary spending increase over the past three years is unacceptable and warrants a response,” said Cruz. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that would curtail our government’s runaway spending by requiring federal agencies to justify their need for funds beyond a zero-based budget.”

“Our country’s fiscal situation is unsustainable and unacceptable. Forcing the federal bureaucracy to take a fresh look at their budgets on a regular basis will help reduce waste and redundancy throughout the government and ultimately save taxpayer dollars and reduce the national debt,” said Budd. “Big thanks to Senator Risch for leading this critical proposal.”

 The Zero Based Budget Act has received support from Heritage Action.

“Washington’s spending problem is out of control, as the national debt has soared above $31 trillion. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has used this reckless spending to pursue a radical left-wing agenda by executive action and rulemaking. Senator Risch’s Zero Based Budget Act would put an end to this era of weaponized government by forcing executive agencies to justify their budget requests based on need and requiring them to cut unnecessary bloat. This legislation would be a great first step towards reining in Washington’s spending problem and restoring the missions of federal agencies to their core competencies,” said Ryan Walker, Vice President of Government Relations, Heritage Action

The Zero Based Budget Act would:

  • Require federal agencies to provide a zero based budget every 6 years;
  • Reduce spending levels by 2 percent;
  • Remove the assumption that current activities and funding are automatically continued; and
  • For national security purposes, exempts the Department of Defense and the National Nuclear Security Administration from these requirements.

To read the full text of the bill, click here.

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