Problem Solvers Caucus Calls for Fiscally-Responsible, Bipartisan Budget Deal
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) and the Problem Solvers Caucus wrote to Congressional leadership to call for action on a long-term, fiscally-responsible budget deal.
In a letter to House and Senate leaders, the Problem Solvers Caucus said:
“We believe that Congress should act quickly toward passing a long-term, bipartisan budget deal that would eliminate sequestration cuts for at least two years. We also support efforts to fully pay for any increase of the discretionary budget caps, so that defense and non-defense discretionary spending can be funded at more adequate levels, responsibly. We stand ready to work with you to accomplish this goal.”
The full text of the letter can be found below, and a signed copy of the letter can be foundhere.
This is another step in Rep. Smucker’s longstanding effort to reform Congress’ broken budget process and to end the status quo of governing from one funding crisis to the next. In April 2017, Rep. Smucker introduced legislation that would prevent government shutdowns by providing an automatic continuing resolution (CR) for any appropriations bill not completed before the end of the fiscal year. If a budget is still not completed within 120 days after the CR, funding levels would be reduced by one percent, and again after each subsequent 90-day period.
Rep. Smucker also has cosponsored three other bills that would reform the broken budget process and hold Members of Congress accountable in the event of a government shutdown, and wrote to Budget Chairman Diane Black urging a hearing on comprehensive budget process reform.
Problem Solvers Caucus letter to Congressional leadership:
November 29, 2017
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi,
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a group premised around the notion that Congress works best when Members engage with one another on a bipartisan basis in order to advance solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. So far this year, the Problem Solvers Caucus has come together to advocate for a reasonable and responsible spending bill and to develop a better approach to reforming our nation’s health care system. We believe that durable and sustainable solutions can be reached through bipartisan cooperation and leadership.
We write to you now as Congress is once again facing an imminent deadline with government funding expected to expire on December 8 and no clear path forward for resolving both the policy and funding level debates. One of the main drivers of uncertainty around passage of spending bills for Fiscal Year 2018 is the unrealistic constraints for producing Appropriations bills that comply with the caps put in place by the Budget Control Act. Democrats and Republicans have raised concerns that the cuts required by sequestration would simply not meet the commitments made to our constituents or to those who serve our nation in the armed forces.
In prior years, bipartisan budget deals have removed the threat of sequestration and paved the way for fiscally responsible spending bills that have passed with Republican and Democratic support. We believe that Congress should act quickly towards passing a long-term, bipartisan budget deal that would eliminate sequestration cuts for at least two years. We also support efforts to fully pay for any increase of the discretionary budget caps, so that defense and non-defense discretionary spending can be funded at more adequate levels, responsibly. We stand ready to work with you to accomplish this goal.