Daines Introduces Legislation to Bring Integrity to Federal Budget Process

U.S. SENATE — As the Federal Reserve is expected to increase the interest rate next week, U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced legislation that would require congressional budgetary scorekeepers to account for interest costs incurred on borrowed funds needed for legislative proposals. 

The Budgetary Accuracy in Scoring Interest Costs (BASIC) Act will include the cost of debt in both Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) analysis so that Congress can have the full picture of legislative costs to the American taxpayer. 

“If I told you that when Congress employs gimmicks to shield you from knowing exactly how much it was spending you would be angry,” Daines stated. “Government spending is bloated and far exceeds the fiscal sanity that a Montana family would use for their household. It’s time Congress had a true account the true debt burden it was leaving for our kids and grandkids.” 

Earlier today, Daines spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of the BASIC Act. 

Click here to watch Daines’ remarks.

Click here to download Daines’ remarks.

Under current practice, CBO and JCT are tasked with providing budgetary and revenue scores, but do not reflect economic reality – because their scoring methodologies doesn’t include interest costs. 

The U.S. must borrow funds to pay for new legislative proposals, and borrowed funds must be paid back with interest. Interest payment on the nation’s debt is expected to be $712 billion by Fiscal Year 2026.  

The text of the BASIC Act is available HERE