U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN) and John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN) introduced the bipartisan CAP Act (H.R. 1605) in the House to put an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending. The CAP Act was introduced by Senators Corker (R-TN) and McCaskill (D-MO) in the Senate, and has continued to build bipartisan support throughout Congress.
"Government got too big under Presidents Bush and Obama, and now it needs to go on a diet," said Congressman Cooper. "The CAP Act will return our government to its normal size. We don't need an over-sized government to deliver the services that people need; we need the lean and fit government that this bill would lead us to."
The CAP Act would set binding limits by automatically reducing spending across the board if Congress fails to take action. The fiscal straitjacket created by the CAP Act would result in $7.6 trillion less in spending over a 10-year period and fundamentally change the way Washington does business.
"Our Nation is now more than $14 trillion in debt, and we continue to borrow $4 billion a day to pay our bills," said Congressman Duncan. "We need a serious cap on spending, or it will not be too much longer before we cannot pay for all the things we have promised our people with money that will be worth anything. This bill is a great first step to reining in out-of-control federal spending, and I am so pleased that it has bipartisan support in the House and Senate."
Senator Corker had this to say about the today's announcement:
"I'm delighted our CAP Act to put a fiscal straitjacket on Congress now has the support of Jim Cooper and Jimmy Duncan in the House," said Senator 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."
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.
(2) If Congress fails to meet the annual cap, it requires 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.
(3) For the first time, eliminate the deceptive "off-budget" distinction for Social Security -- providing a complete and accurate assessment of all federal spending.