U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) today announced additional bipartisan, bicameral support for their bill to put an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending. U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have added their names to the CAP Act, and U.S. Representatives Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) will be leading the effort in the House to build bipartisan support for the bill.
The 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 and fundamentally change the way Washington does business.
"I'm delighted our CAP Act to put a fiscal straitjacket on Congress now has the support of Joe Lieberman and Ron Johnson as well as Jim Cooper and Jimmy Duncan in the House," said Corker. "This growing bipartisan, bicameral support signals momentum and a genuine desire to move the conversation on spending where it must go: from billions to trillions and to enact the kind of dramatic cuts that will be necessary to put our country on a path to fiscal solvency."
"This is a good place to start the discussion," said McCaskill. "We need to look at long-term comprehensive restraints on spending to address our debt and deficits. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that as we address these issues, we work to strengthen, not cut, Medicare and Social Security for current beneficiaries and ensure these programs are around for our grandchildren."
"We are currently debating spending cuts to the federal budget of a few billion dollars, when our debt and deficits are measured in the trillions," said Johnson. "Unless we get serious about our fiscal crisis, we will pass a crushing burden of debt on to our children and grandchildren. We are committing intergenerational theft. It is wrong, it is immoral, and it must stop. Economic growth is a critical component to solving this problem. Until we have a credible plan for spending restraint, consumers and businesses will not have the renewed confidence they need to spur investment and job creation. Senator Corker's CAP Act is the first step in establishing that credible spending plan. It will provide the hard spending cap needed to enforce fiscal discipline and restrain the growth in government. I am happy to cosponsor this important piece of legislation."
"We can no longer wait to take serious action to reduce the debt and this legislation provides a mechanism for fiscal responsibility," said Lieberman. "Unless we swallow some deficit reduction medicine our nation's economy is going to return to the Intensive Care Unit."
Specifically, the CAP Act 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 GDP, 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.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).