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More Borrowing Not a Shutdown Solution

Jan 16, 2019 | Budgets & Projections

For Immediate Release

Recently, several senators have suggested increasing next year’s discretionary spending caps as part of a deal to secure wall funding and end the partial government shutdown. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget:

The current government shutdown is an embarrassment, and it needs to end. But incurring billions more in debt is not the way to do it. Why on earth should we be asking our children to pay for our leaders’ inability to do their jobs?

Our debt is already on an unsustainable path, and to suggest more borrowing is the solution is to shirk responsibility of actually budgeting. Keeping the lights on and paying federal workers should not be leverage for more spending.

Once the government is funded for the current fiscal year, we should talk about funding levels for future years. Under current law, discretionary spending will fall by 10 percent next year; but if we extend recent increases, we could add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt. Instead, a reasonable discretionary cap deal would set achievable and affordable levels of spending over the next decade and pay for the cost with revenue and mandatory spending adjustments.

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For more information contact Patrick Newton, press secretary, at newton@crfb.org