Congress is busy crafting a federal budget for the coming fiscal year this week. The outcome could have profound implications for the congressional agenda for the rest of the year as well as for the national debt for years to come.
What likely will be a long line of formal presidential campaign announcements began Monday with the launch of the candidacy of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). And Fix the Debt is working hard to ensure that all candidates will seriously talk about the national debt on the campaign trail.
Last week, Fix the Debt hosted a bipartisan group of nearly 20 former lawmakers to discuss fiscal issues currently facing Congress.
As the clock ticks down on the end-of-the-month deadline to prevent a 21 percent cut to physician Medicare payments, congressional leaders are considering a plan that could possibly add $400 billion to the debt over the long haul. Leaders are hoping that they will be able to jam the change through, but pushback over the costs is growing as estimates of the long-term costs grow.
The statutory debt limit has been reinstated. Though it will likely be many months before legislative action is required, lawmakers should not wait until the last minute to address the situation and should consider ways of improving it so that it is a better tool to promote fiscal responsibility.