Conservatives’ bill aims for strict spending limit of 18 percent of GDP

by
May 16, 2011

By Molly K. Hooper -The Hill

Key members of the conservative Republican Study Committee introduced a bill to make good on their pledge to “cut, cap and balance” federal spending.

RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) endorsed the bill submitted Friday by top-ranking GOP appropriator Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.) that would cap spending at 18 percent of GDP.

“It’s simple, spend what you take in. What the RSC is bringing forward is a cut, cap and balance approach: cut spending significantly in 2012, cap spending in the midterm, and long-term do a balanced budget that will actually be a game changer,” Jordan said at a press conference led by Kingston on Friday.

 

Kingston explained that his legislation “simply says that revenues and spending will be coordinated as a percentage of GDP – it balances the budget within five years.”

Fellow appropriations committee Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tom Graves (R-Ga.) spoke in favor of Kingston’s spending cap proposal, that they said would require the government to live within its means.

Kingston’s bill does not specify which cuts to make to discretionary and mandatory spending.

Graves explained “it creates a box that the government has to operate within … that’s the best way to illustrate it: you set the confinements, the boundaries; we’re not talking about what’s in that box … but whatever you can fit inside that box is fine – but the box is only so big, and over the next five years continues to shrink over time until you get down to 18 percent.”

Even sacred defense programs could be slashed if Congress failed to make cuts elsewhere, Flake said.

Flake, a vociferous fiscal hawk, explained “that allows individuals who think that we shouldn’t cut defense at all to come in and make cuts

elsewhere, if they don’t then we’ll see across the board cuts; those cuts come, automatic rescissions if government fails to hit its

spending targets – and if I know anything Congress will fail to hit its spending targets.”

Kington’s bill is one of several similar variations of measure that would cap federal spending. One measure in particular, sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on the other side of the Capitol, would cap spending at roughly 20 percent.

To read more, visit: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/161293-conservatives-bill-aims-for-strict-spending-limit-of-18-percent-of-gdp

 

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