Dear Senate Budget Committee Chairman Enzi and House Budget Committee Chairman Black:
On behalf our organizations and the millions of Americans that we represent, we write to encourage you to promote fiscal responsibility through sound budgeting practices. In your ongoing work on the budget resolution for fiscal year 2018, we encourage you to consider the following:
- Preserve the overall level of discretionary spending established in the Budget Control Act of 2011. Lawmakers made a bipartisan promise to the American people to control spending, and Republicans were elected to majorities in both chambers of Congress and to the White House in November with a mandate to keep that promise. Any increases in discretionary spending must be offset by reductions elsewhere.
- Address the problem of autopilot spending. Growth in federal direct spending—which consists mostly of welfare and entitlement programs—has been dramatic and unchecked. Autopilot spending has grown from less than 26 percent of the federal budget in 1967 to nearly 70 percent today.
- Balance within the 10-year budget window. This will keep the government at least moderately in touch with the same tough budgetary decisions that hard-working families and small businesses make every day.
- Keep using the reconciliation option. Ideally Republicans and Democrats would work together on pro-growth tax policy and making benefits programs sustainable. Our country’s dangerous budget situation, however, requires Congress to keep open as many options as possible.
- Reform the process. The budget process favors maintaining status quo spending levels and programs, if not expanding them. The bias towards bigger and more intrusive government must stop so Congress plays an active role in managing programs.
Restoring economic freedom and prosperity in America requires fiscal responsibility. We look forward to working with you and the budget staff in the Trump Administration toward this important goal.