Congress Must Prioritize Responsible Spending in Year-End Deals


November 20, 2017
Washington, D.C.

For years, conservatives have been sounding the alarm on growing debt and deficits. A red tidal wave of debt threatens the health of the economy, business creation, the ability of families to create wealth. In doing so, exploding debt threatens no less than the American dream.

When Republicans obtained unified control of the government in January, many conservatives expected a return to fiscal discipline, and an effort to control the massive growth in deficits that occurred under President Obama. Unfortunately, Congress has so far failed to prioritize debt management and deficit reduction.

As Congress approaches the December 8 deadline to fund the government, we urge the House and Senate use this as an opportunity to return to responsible fiscal management. Specifically, we call on Congress to take the following actions.


Maintain the domestic spending cap passed in the Budget Control Act (BCA).

According to numerous press reports, Members of Congress are discussing a potential deal that would remove the non-defense discretionary spending cap. This would be a mistake.

The BCA spending caps represent one of the most significant fiscal retrenchments in decades. After years of unfulfilled promises to cut spending, the BCA has actually done it. Since its implementation in 2011, discretionary spending, adjusted for inflation, has been cut by 16 percent from its peak of $1.3 trillion.

If Congress undoes spending caps now, it will undo the first consecutive stretch of declining federal outlays since President Eisenhower’s first term in office. We urge Republicans in Congress to maintain their commitment to fiscal discipline and keep the non-defense discretionary cap in place.


Do not bail out health insurance companies.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have openly contemplated a bailout of the health insurance companies by reinstating cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs). These payments were initiated unilaterally and illegally by the Obama administration, and have been rightly terminated by President Trump.

According to recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the bailout contemplated by Sens. Murray and Alexander would provide $4 to $5 billion to health insurance companies, on the backs of the taxpayer. This would be far larger than any benefit that consumers would receive from the legislation. Worse still, CBO estimates that this bailout would not actually reduce federal spending. In fact, CBO’s analysis suggests that overall federal spending will rise as insurers pocket some of the federal bailout money instead of giving consumers a break on costs.

Bailing out health insurance companies is not the answer to rising healthcare costs, nor is it the panacea to a failing system. Obamacare is a policy failure and Congress needs to repeal it. It is unthinkable that, after promising to repeal this law for nearly a decade, Republicans in Congress have still failed to do so.

The only future action on Obamacare that is acceptable to conservatives is full repeal.


Pay for future emergency spending.

Since September, Congress has approved more than $50 billion in disaster assistance to pay for hurricane-related damage around the country. In many cases, this money has been wisely spent. In others, it has not. For example, in a $36.5 billion disaster relief package passed in October, $16 billion went to bail out the financially troubled National Flood Insurance Program without instituting oversight or reforms.

Spending of this nature cannot continue unabated. In just the last fiscal year, government spending increased the deficit by $82 billion, taking the total deficit to $666 billion.

Any future disaster spending must be offset with cuts elsewhere. We applaud the efforts of the Office of Management and Budget, which provided a list of $5.6 billion in suggested offsets to Congress, which were later ignored by lawmakers. Likewise, the President’s budget contains more than $50 billion in cuts to discretionary spending that could be used as offsets.

With dangerous levels of debt, we urge Republicans in Congress to exercise responsible fiscal management and provide offsets to future disaster assistance.

Growing debts and deficits threaten the American economy and the fulfillment of the American dream. We urge Congress to again make fiscal discipline a priority.



The Honorable Edwin Meese III
Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan

The Honorable Kenneth Blackwell
Constitutional Congress, Inc.

James C. Dobson Ph.D.
Founder and President
Family Talk 

Rod D. Martin
Founder & CEO
The Martin Organization, Inc.

Haley E. Martin
The Martin Foundation

Nicholas Stehle
Campaign for the American Future

Diana Banister
President and Partner
Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

Ed Corrigan
Former Executive Director
Senate Steering Committee

Alfred S. Regnery
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli II
Senate Conservatives Fund

Michael A. Needham
Heritage Action

Rebecca Hagelin
Secretary, Council for National Policy
Board of Directors, FamilyTalk

Col. Francis X. De Luca USMCR (Ret.)
Civitas Institute  

Floyd Brown
Western Center for Journalism 

James L. Martin
Founder & Chairman
60 Plus Association 

Jim Backlin
Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Christian Coalition of America 

William W. Pascoe, III
Managing Partner

Antietam Communications

Norm Singleton

Campaign for Liberty 

The Honorable Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio

Willes K. Lee
National Federation of
Republican Assemblies

Tim LeFever 
Capitol Resource Institute

Jason Jones 
Movie to Movement  

Magdalena Briones
Assistant to CEO

Nancy Schulze
Republican Congressional

Wives Speakers

Anne Schlafly Cori
Eagle Forum

Michael R. Long
State Chairman
NYS Conservative Party

Ann Drexel
Member, Board of Governors
Council for National Policy

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance 

John McCardell
America’s Liberty Committee

Elaine Donnelly
Center for Military Readiness

The Honorable James C. Miller III
Office of Management and Budget
Director for
President Ronald Reagan

Ralph Benko


The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
Chairman, Conservative Action Project
Former White House Advisor,
President Ronald Reagan 

Allen Hebert
American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston

David Bozell

Sherri R. Martin
Executive Vice President
The Martin Organization, Inc.

Shawn A. Mitchell
Former National Chaplain
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Evelio Silvera
Campaign for the American Future

The Honorable Jim DeMint 
United States Senate
Former Member, South Carolina

The Honorable Mike Hill
Former Member
Florida State House of Representatives

The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Former Chief Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan

Peter J. Thomas

The Conservative Caucus  

The Honorable David McIntosh
Club for Growth  

John F. Tate
America’s Liberty PAC

The Honorable Belden Bell
Legacy Society Co-Chair
The Heritage Foundation 

John P. McCardell
America’s Liberty Committee  

C. Preston Noell III
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.   

Penna Dexter
Point of View Radio  

Robert Alt
President & CEO
The Buckeye Institute  

Christopher Malagisi
Editor in Chief
Conservative Book Club

Ron Robinson
Young America’s Foundation 

Ralph A. Rebandt II
Senior Pastor, Chaplain 
Oakland Hills Community Church
Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police 

Kay R. Daly
Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

Judson Phillips

Tea Party Nation  

Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
Washington Bureau Chief 

Charles J. Cooper
Former Assistant Attorney General
Ronald Reagan Administration
Cooper& Kirk PLLC 

Robert K. Fischer
Meeting Coordinator
Conservatives of Faith

Lewis K. Uhler
Founder and President
National Tax Limitation Committee

John F. Tate
America’s Liberty PAC

The Honorable Mike Spence
Founding President
Conservative Republicans of California

Rachel Bovard
Former Policy Director
Senate Steering Committee

Roxanne Phillips
Member Executive Committee
Council for National Policy

Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party
Patriots Citizen Fund 

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