WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) today applauded the addition of Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) as a cosponsor of the CAP Act, their bill to put an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending. Manchin made the announcement in West Virginia this morning, joining U.S. Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) as the newest supporters of the CAP Act in the Senate. U.S. Representatives Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) have introduced a companion version of the bill in the House of Representatives.
The CAP Act, S. 245, would, for the first time, set an across-the-board, binding cap on all federal spending, resulting in $7.6 trillion less spending over a 10-year period.
“We’re excited to welcome Joe Manchin as the latest supporter of the CAP Act to put a fiscal straitjacket on Congress,” said Corker. “This growing bipartisan, bicameral support for the CAP Act signals a real 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 spending reductions 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.”
“Left unchecked, our exploding national debt will paralyze this nation. It will cost us countless jobs. It will strangle our ability to invest in vital priorities like energy, our children and our communities. It will weaken our national defense and it will derail critical programs like Social Security and Medicare,” Manchin said. “I believe that both the CAP Act and Balanced Budget Amendment offer a good framework for a bipartisan debt fix, but let me be clear that one of my top priorities will be to make sure that any debt fix keeps our promises to seniors and protects Social Security and Medicare.”
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.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).