Bipartisan legislation limiting public debt introduced by Reps. Burchett, Case

November 20, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Tim Burchett (TN-02) and Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) introduced the Reforming America’s Fiscal Toolkit Act of 2019 (RAFT Act). This bipartisan legislation changes Congress’s budget procedures in order to establish a lower public debt relative to America’s gross domestic product (GDP). GDP is a measure of a nation’s economic output.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, America’s $23 trillion public debt is greater than the total value of American goods and services, totaling 103% of U.S. GDP. Economists project the national debt will grow to $34 trillion over the next decade, which would mark the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in our nation’s history. The United States' ability to repay its debt is hampered significantly if its debt is greater than the its economic output.
“Government spending on the backs of the American taxpayer is out of control. Now, Congress’s bad spending habits have finally outpaced the growth of our economy,” said Rep. Burchett. “No business or organization, big or small, would survive operating without a budget. Congress is no different and needs to establish a responsible budget. Our nation cannot pay back its creditors if it is bankrupt, and the Budget Committee must adopt a practice that keeps debt at a reasonable level.”
“Our federal fiscal house is clearly out of order and we appear trapped in a continuing cycle of $1 trillion-plus annual deficits. We clearly need any and all tools at our disposal to guide overall budget sustainability. The RAFT Act is an invaluable tool by following the time-tested responsible budget approach of linking maximum debt to overall economic activity,” said Rep. Case.
“Congress must come together in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to reduce the debt and ensure sustained economic growth and prosperity for future generations. H.R. 5178, the Reforming America’s Fiscal Toolkit Act of 2019, makes steps to deliver on our Article I duty by introducing new ideas to improve the budget process. I’m proud to support this bill authored by my colleagues Congressmen Tim Burchett (TN-02) and Ed Case (HI-01), and I appreciate their leadership on this important issue,” said Budget Committee Ranking Member Steve Womack (AR-03)