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ATR and COGC Joins Strong Coalition Warning Congress: Preserve the Budget Caps
Americans for Tax Reform and the Cost of Government Center have joined a coalition of 20 organizations in opposing all Congressional efforts to circumvent statutory spending caps. The groups signed a letter urging both the House and the Senate to comply with the discretionary spending caps established by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. As congress considers legislation to fund government in the next fiscal year, the temptation to flout the caps should be resisted.
In part, the letter reads:
Many of us were disappointed by, and opposed to last year’s Ryan agreement that allows an additional $63 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal years (FY) 2014 and 2015—well over the amounts initially provided for by the BCA. Despite our concerns, some lawmakers supported the deal because its near-term spending increases were intended to be offset by longer term deficit-reducing measures. Nevertheless, if Congress is to have any credibility on fiscal restraint, it should not further alter the caps and allow spending to exceed the already-revised discretionary figure of $1.014 trillion for FY015. Maintaining this level appears to be in jeopardy, which is cause for serious concern.
In particular, we urge Members to be vigilant about the potential misuse of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. These funds should be used exclusively for their intended purpose—not as a backdoor means to increase resources for the base defense budget or for other, unrelated spending items. As military operations in Afghanistan wind down, so too should OCO, as this off budget account poses a threat to fiscal responsibility.
To read the full letter, click HERE.