Sinema & Bicameral Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Strengthen America’s Economic Health and Increase Fiscal Responsibility

May 19, 2023

Bipartisan, bicameral resolution ensures Members of Congress are better informed on America’s finances in order to make fiscally responsible and economically sound decisions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Angus King (I-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) – along with U.S. Representatives Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) – introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Fiscal State of the Nation Act, a resolution requiring Congress to receive an annual financial report from a nonpartisan source to understand how current and proposed policies may impact the nation’s long-term fiscal health. This legislation helps ensure Members of Congress are better informed on America’s financial health to make more fiscally responsible and economically sound decisions.
“Requiring a nonpartisan report of America’s fiscal state ensures Members of Congress are better informed on our debt and deficit so they make more fiscally responsible and economically sound policy decisions – by keeping spending and costs low so Arizonans can keep more of their own money in their pockets,” said Senator Sinema.
“Just as Iowans gather around the kitchen table to balance their budgets, they expect politicians in Washington to do the same. That’s why I’m working to ensure members of Congress can take a hard, unbiased look at how their proposed policies may impact our nation’s long-term fiscal health. With over $31 trillion in debt, it’s past time we focus on cutting the pork,” said Senator Ernst.
“The crucial details concerning the budget of the federal government, including assets, expenses, revenues, and other relevant information, are frequently obscured within lengthy and intricate reports. Due to the lack of clear communication, lawmakers find themselves inadequately prepared to tackle the multitude of issues associated with the federal budget. Consequently, this results in inefficient allocation of taxpayer funds and exacerbates the repercussions of a colossal debt, such as inflation”, said Representative Barr. “I am proud to lead this crucial, bipartisan effort with Congressman Peters and Senators Sinema and Ernst.”
“It is clear as ever that we need to deal with our national debt in a responsible and nonpartisan manner,” said Representative Peters. “This legislation will cut through the noise of biased information Members of Congress receive daily and instead give us a sober and thorough analysis of how current and future policies influence our fiscal health. Right now the American people and financial markets want to know that Congress is taking impending crisis seriously — this is one good step we can take to show them we are.”
“We’re on a slippery slope. Congress needs to start making budgets and stick to it, so it’s important to be aware of the federal government’s poor financial health. Americans deserve better,” said Senator Braun.
“The ASCPA applauds Senator Sinema for her leadership in the U.S. Senate by reintroducing the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution. The legislation will provide Congress with valuable information from the U.S Comptroller General to make sound, informed decisions during the budget process each year. The ASCPA supports the resolution and thanks Senator Sinema for championing the effort,” said Oliver Yandle, JD, CAE, President & CEO, Arizona Society of CPAs. 
“It is important that our legislative leaders have a full and unbiased understanding of our nation’s financial health. The AICPA believes that this reporting can be a valuable tool for our legislators in understanding the long-term economic impact of current and/or future policies and we strongly support this resolution,” said AICPA President and CEO, Barry C. Melancon, CPA, CGMA.
With our nation’s debt projected to reach a record 119 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2033, it is clear that Members of Congress need access to accurate, nonpartisan information on our fiscal outlook. Senators Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Ernst (R-Iowa), as well as Representatives Peters (D-Calif.) and Barr (R-Ky.), are absolutely right to bring attention to the debt and deserve credit for reintroducing the Fiscal State of the Nation resolution. The House took a good first step by hosting a briefing for lawmakers with the Congressional Budget Office Director earlier this year. The Fiscal State of the Nation would formalize this practice through an annual hearing featuring the Comptroller General, the leader of the Government Accountability Office. Congress should pass this commonsense resolution and agree to establish a regular opportunity to take stock of our fiscal health,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
The Fiscal State of the Nation Act requires the U.S. Comptroller General to provide and present an audited financial statement to Congressional members before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Budget Committees, and any off-committee members who wish to participate. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation ensures Congress receives a nonpartisan, objective analysis of the fiscal health of federal programs, especially in light of the financial implications of record inflation and spending in recent years.
The bipartisan Fiscal State of the Nation is part of Sinema’s work protecting fiscal responsibility and strengthening Arizonans’ economic futures. Last month, Sinema held a tele-town hall with over 7,500 everyday Arizonans to answer questions on the state of the economy – including addressing the high prices of gas and groceries in Arizona, solving ongoing labor shortages, and creating strong careers in communities across the state.