WASHINGTON (July 30, 2020)—On Wednesday, the Republican Study Committee’s Budget and Spending Task Force released an open letter to Americans urging decisive action on spending and the national debt. The R Street Institute applauds its efforts and looks forward to working with Members to ensure that sensible steps are taken to rein in the national debt during these unprecedented times.

Signed by more than 100 Republican Members of Congress, the letter explains: “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and its related economic fallout, America’s debt trajectory was on an unsustainable path. It has now reached a point of crisis. Since the turn of the century, our national debt has nearly quintupled to around $27 trillion (representing a debt of $204,000 per household), and will continue to grow exponentially in perpetuity. Without decisive action now, this debt will consume more and more of our economy, leaving Americans with an insurmountable and crippling financial burden.”

Congress has already authorized more than $3 trillion in pandemic-related relief and additional spending is all but certain. Now more than ever, it is therefore time to ensure that serious efforts are taken to address the ballooning national debt and increasing fiscal strain. As Congress gears up to debate another round of coronavirus relief legislation, the task force members’ commitment to preserving fiscal responsibility and working toward the solvency of safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is a welcome development.

R Street’s Director of Fiscal and Budget Policy, Jonathan Bydlak, offers the following praise for these efforts: “The Republican Study Committee’s call to address the country’s precarious fiscal position and rapidly increasing national debt couldn’t be more welcome in the current political environment. With lawmakers necessarily spending unprecedented amounts of money to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that they do not forget the fiscal implications of the federal response. It does the country no good to successfully defeat the novel coronavirus, only to find ourselves further along the road to potential fiscal crisis.”

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