Reps. Tom Graves, Kingston, Jordan, and Flake Introduce Legislation To Cap Total Federal Spending At 18% Of GDP

Reps. Tom Graves, Kingston, Jordan, and Flake Introduce Legislation To Cap Total Federal Spending At 18% Of GDP


Washington, DC - Today, Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA), Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Congressman Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced legislation that would limit total federal spending to 18% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2016. This legislation brings spending in line with the historical average of revenue as a percentage of GDP in order to prevent budget deficits, reduce the debt, and eventually balance the budget. Congressman Graves issued the following statement about the legislation:

“Today, our nation faces a spending-driven debt crisis that inhibits economic growth and threatens to diminish our quality of life now, and in the future. Our $14 trillion debt represents Washington’s great failure of putting politics and patronage before sound fiscal policy. The bill we’ve introduced today is an attempt to be honest and forthright with America about what we can actually afford.

“To control spending, lower the debt, and move our government toward a balanced budget, I believe we must put the federal government in a box. This bill calls for that box of spending to shrink to 18% of GDP by 2016 and maintain that level permanently. Lawmakers will continue to set spending levels and determine what the nation’s priorities are, but must do so within the strict boundary this bill sets. Should Congress run wild and spend above the prescribed limit, then funding will automatically be sequestered, or cut, across the board to bring the spending level back in line.

“North Georgians sent me to Washington to shrink government and reject the status quo. I think it’s safe to say that three appropriators—myself, Rep. Kingston, and Rep. Flake—introducing a bill to cap spending is certainly unusual, if not unprecedented in Congress. I thank Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan for joining this effort, as we push for the next several months to cut and cap spending, and balance the budget. Our collective aim is for a new normal in Washington, where responsibility and constraint guide the funding process, and the only surefire way to accomplish this is to put strictly enforced spending caps on Congress.”

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