WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., today said Congress needs a straitjacket to restrain spending and a constitutional amendment to ensure a future Congress doesn’t "fall off the wagon." Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell began a process today to secure a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution supported by all Senate Republicans.
“For anyone who believes Congress has no discipline when it comes to spending, I can assure you it is far worse than you think. It’s been almost 800 days since the Senate passed a budget. That’s why we need to put an enforceable straitjacket on Congress, like the CAP Act, and then look at a constitutional amendment to ensure Congress doesn’t fall off the wagon,” Corker said.
Corker’s CAP Act, S. 245, would, for the first time, set an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending. The fiscal straitjacket created by the CAP Act would result in $7.6 trillion less spending over a 10 year period. Specifically, the bill would:
(1) Put in place a 10-year glide path to cap all spending – discretionary and mandatory – to a declining percentage of the country’s gross domestic product, eventually bringing spending down from the current level, 24.7 percent of gross domestic product, to the 40-year historical level of 20.6 percent, and
(2) If Congress fails to meet the annual cap, require the Office of Management and Budget to make evenly distributed, simultaneous cuts throughout the federal budget to bring spending down to the pre-determined level. Only a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress could override the binding cap, and
(3) For the first time, eliminate the deceptive “off-budget” distinction for Social Security – providing a complete and accurate assessment of all federal spending.
The growing list of Senate sponsors of the CAP Act includes Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).
Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN-5) and Jimmy Duncan (R-TN-2) have introduced a companion version of the bill in the House, which is cosponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-6), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-7), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-4), Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN-8), Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN-3), Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH-16), and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN-1).