Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) will this week introduce the “Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act.” America is more than $19 trillion in debt and this number shows no sign of decreasing. If a President asks Congress to raise the debt ceiling, they must also show a commitment to addressing the long term debt crisis.

This legislation forces this by requiring the administration provide Congress with detailed information on the federal debt and propose solutions to address the crisis as a condition of raising the debt limit. Similar legislation introduced by Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) passed the House last year on a bipartisan vote of 267-151. Given the support in the House, ATR urges all Senators to co-sponsor and swiftly pass this commonsense legislation.

The Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act requires the Treasury Secretary to appear before Congressional Committees between 21 and 60 days before the Debt Limit will be reached to provide a detailed report outlining the nation’s financial state and to propose substantive reforms.

First, Treasury must submit a “Debt Report,” containing information on the current state of public debt, including historical levels of debt, the drivers and current composition of debt, and future debt projections.

Second, the legislation requires a “Statement of Intent,” containing short, medium, and long-term solutions the debt crisis, how increasing the debt limit will impact future spending, debt service, and the strength and stability of the U.S. dollar as the international reserve currency.

Third, the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act requires a “Progress Report,” if the administration comes before Congress for additional debt limit increases in the future. This report must contain information on the status of all recommendations made in the original statement of intent.

The Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act creates a clear, yet comprehensive framework that any administration must follow to reduce federal debt when requesting a debt limit increase. By requiring the submission of a detailed report and comprehensive plan before Congress, this legislation will ensure that increasing the debt ceiling only occurs as part of a framework to reform the nation’s finances and chart a pathway toward fiscal responsibility. ATR urges all Senators to support and co-sponsor this important legislation.