House of Representative Lamar Smith
2409 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 18th, 2010
Contact: Sally-Shannon Scales (202) 225-4236
Smith Introduces Bill to Reduce Deficits
Washington, DC – Congressman Lamar Smith today introduced legislation to stop runaway government spending and rising deficits that threaten economic growth. HR 5323, the SAFE (Saving America’s Future Economy) Act, will limit annual increases in federal spending to the sum of percentage increases in population growth and inflation. Smith’s bill currently has 34 co-sponsors. “Our national debt has reached a crisis level, yet government spending continues without any meaningful limits in place,” said Smith. “We cannot afford to wait any longer and need to put a stop to runaway spending in Washington. Our debt threatens our economy and our national security. We must take the necessary steps today to ensure the economic future of our nation. Putting spending limits in place will reduce deficits and lead us towards a balanced budget.” Background: Smith’s legislation, which limits total spending to population growth plus inflation, will reduce the deficit each year until a balanced budget is reached in six years. Between FY2008 and FY2010, the federal deficit tripled. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), these budget deficits will force the U.S. to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade. That is a drag on the economy and a burden on every American family. The Treasury Department reports that the U.S. posted an $83 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $21 billion shortfall recorded in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month. This proposal is a component of the Tea Party’s “Contract from America.” Here is what the Heritage Foundation has to say about the SAFE Act.
Ø “Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) has proposed a commonsense approach to avoid such ruinous spending hikes. The Saving America’s Future Economy (SAFE) Act of 2010 would limit the annual growth of government to the inflation rate plus population growth rate (typically around 3.5 percent annually).”
Ø “Lawmakers must rein in spending in order to prevent a debt crisis like the one spreading through Europe. This requires a budget process compatible with our budget priorities. The SAFE Act provides a strong first step by capping the growth of government, and creating a framework for priority-setting and trade-offs.”
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¨ Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary ¨ Committee on Homeland Security ¨ Committee on Science and Technology ¨