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Forbes Introduces Bill to Cut Government Spending by 40% Over Five Years
Washington, D.C., Jan 26, 2010 - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) announced today that he has introduced a bill that would cut federal government discretionary spending by 10% each year for the next five years. If passed, the Tighten Washington's Belt Act, H.R. 4479, will reduce discretionary spending by 40% through Fiscal Year 2015.
“Washington has an unshakeable appetite for spending, and it is time that Congress makes it a priority to get the federal deficit under control. The Tighten Washington's Belt Act will force Congress to prioritize, to spend less, and to spend smarter. It will mean that bills packed with excessive, wasteful and duplicative spending can no longer fly through committee and over the President’s desk without direct consequences,” said Forbes. “We need a psychology shift in Washington when it comes to spending, and this bill creates a deliberate and strategic mechanism to get that spending under control.”
Since the 1970s, excluding years when tough discretionary spending caps were in place, discretionary spending – the category of spending where lawmakers can make annual choices – has grown annually by between 7%-8%. In the past ten years alone, the total amount of money made available for discretionary programs has grown from approximately $581 billion to $1.4 trillion.
Forbes’ bill would set fixed spending limits that are 10% less than the previous year for all discretionary spending. If Congress breaches those spending limits, an automatic across-the-board spending cut from all discretionary programs would be enacted to keep federal spending within its limits. The bill would protect pay and benefits for our active duty men and women in uniform and our veterans from the mandatory cuts.
In addition to the Tighten Washington's Belt Act, Forbes has supported the SAFE Commission Act, H.R. 1557, and CARFA, H.R. 1802, to create reforms in entitlement spending that take a long-range budget view.
The Tighten Washington’s Belt Act has been referred to the Committee on the Budget where it awaits further action. For more information on Congressman Forbes’ work to control government spending, visit http://forbes.house.gov/issues/budget.htm.