Representative Ken Buck (R-Colo.) recently introduced H.R. 1999, the Federal Budget Accountability Act. This legislation requires an annual report to Congress to track whether federal revenue collected as offsets materialize as intended.

For decades, the U.S. has been headed down a path of fiscal unsustainability, spending money that the government doesn’t have. Currently, whenever Congress enacts a pay-for to offset new spending, there is no system in place to ensure that the pay-for works. This bill would help reverse this trend through two ways.

First, H.R. 1999 would call for the Director of Office of Management and Budget to create a system to track any revenue collected. This would also entail tracking the accuracy of such provisions and how effective they are, so that ones that are not working can be re-evaluated.

Secondly, this bill would require the Director of OMB to submit a report to Congress every year on the effect of the offsets and pay-fors enacted. Any provision that increases revenue, reduces the deficit, or reduces spending is to be included in the report and analyzed for 10 years.

The Federal Budget Accountability Act will help ensure that any offsets proposed by lawmakers work as intended when they are implemented in the real world. Doing so will help put the federal government back on a path of fiscal sustainability. ATR supports this bill and urges all members of Congress to support and co-sponsor this important legislation.

Photo Credit: Aron James