Renacci Introduces Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Jim Renacci (R-OH), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), and 31 additional members of the House of Representatives introduced the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution – a bipartisan initiative to address the fiscal condition of the federal government – through their Bipartisan Working Group (BPWG). BPWG is an ongoing group of members interested in bipartisanship legislative initiatives that meets on a weekly basis.

The United States has a national debt that is fast approaching $20 trillion. This resolution would require the Comptroller General to address a joint session of Congress on our country’s fiscal health and financial position to promote greater awareness of its long-term financial constraints. Rep. Renacci is proud that the Budget Committee has decided to include this resolution in its budget reform plan.

“This resolution is meant to be a wake-up call. We need to get serious about our fiscal future, and lawmakers must fully understand the financial statements of the United States in order to adequately address these issues. That is why this resolution is an important first step to educate lawmakers and Americans so we can work towards finding a solution - ensuring that we do not burden our children and grandchildren with our massive debt. Our fiscal health is not a partisan issue and we need to start taking control,” Renacci stated.

“For a number of years, I avoided stepping on a scale because I was about 90 pounds heavier than I am now. Eventually, I figured out that you can’t get a handle on things by being blissfully ignorant. Occasionally, you’ve got to step on that scale. That’s the ethic this bill embraces,” said Kilmer. “It simply says that, if we’re going to get a handle on our long-term fiscal challenges and have an economy that works better for everyone, we’ve got to occasionally hear a clear statement of the problem from a non-partisan, unbiased source. Making progress on tough issues like this requires clear eyes and a willingness to work for common ground.”

“The national debt is out-of-control and unsustainable,” said Bucshon. “Washington, D.C. desperately needs to have an honest conversation about the drivers of the debt and about the best solutions regarding how we solve the problem. Inaction is unacceptable. I’m proud to support this measure as an important step in the conversation about balancing our nation’s finances and putting our economy on a path to prosperity.”

“I’ve never heard anyone say that more transparency in Congress would be a bad thing,” said Rice. “We have a responsibility to work together to put our country on a path to long-term financial health, and we can’t even begin to do that until we’re completely honest with each other and with the American people about the size and scope of our national debt and any other fiscal challenges we face.  This is a common-sense, bipartisan resolution, and we’re going to keep working hard to build support on both sides of the aisle.”

Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said, “The debt now represents the largest portion of our economy since just after World War II. Unlike the situation then, current debt levels are projected to continue rising unsustainably. Lawmakers need to take action soon to correct our nation’s fiscal course. The Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution would focus public attention on this unsustainable path and inspire the new Congress to find a more fiscally responsible way forward. Hopefully that will motivate policymakers to stop digging the debt hole deeper.”