Exclusive–Steve Daines Proposes Bill to Better Project Federal Spending

Sen. Daines introduced the Budgetary Accuracy in Scoring Interest Costs (BASIC) Act Thursday, which would require both the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Joint Committee on Taxation to include projected interest expenses associated with legislative proposals. Daines said that including interest is necessary to accurately account for the budgetary cost of the legislation. 

Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and David Perdue (R-GA), two fiscal hawks, also cosponsored Daines’ BASIC Act. Daines’ legislation arises as the Senate passed a two-year budget agreement,that would increase federal spending by $320 billion over two years.

The federal government requires both the JCT and CBO to provide budgetary and revenue scores to legislation; however, they both do not account for interest expenses, which often result in the agencies underestimating the cost of legislation.

The Montana conservative, who voted against the two-year budget agreement, said he introduced this bill to help lawmakers bring down the debt.

“It’s no secret Washington, DC, has a massive spending problem and debt crisis,” Daines said in an exclusive statement to Breitbart News. “Just today the Senate approved a deal to increase spending by more than $300 billion with few offsets, and suspend the debt ceiling for two years with absolutely no reforms to bring fiscal sanity to Washington. It’s long overdue and basic common sense that the American taxpayers have all the information about how much DC is driving up the debt. That’s why I introduced this bill.” 

Interest payments on the debt serve as a substantial part of the federal budget. The most recent CBO long-term projection suggests that over the next 30 years, costs will balloon from 78 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 to 144 percent by 2049.

Daines has continued to push for more accountability in federal government spending. The Montana conservative said in a statement Thursday that he will continue to push for his Balanced Budget Accountability Act, which would push for Congress to balance its budget.

“I voted no on the budget deal today. It is absolutely irresponsible for Washington to increase the limit on the nation’s credit card while busting the budget and increasing government spending by hundreds of billions with no effort to reform out of control spending and deficits,” Daines said. 

“We need reforms like my Balanced Budget Accountability Act that holds Congress accountable by withholding their pay if they don’t pass a budget that balances,” the senator added.