Johnny Isakson's Position Statement on Federal Spending

The American people have sent a clear message that they will no longer tolerate the federal spending spree in Washington. It is time we demanded from our government the same thing every American has had to do for themselves: prioritize spending and live within our means.

I have sponsored several pieces of legislation to rein in federal spending, reduce the debt and change the way Washington does business.

Biennial Budgeting
During my time in the U.S. Senate, I have repeatedly introduced legislation to reform the chaotic and inefficient federal budget process. My latest version is the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, which has significant support from both Republicans and Democrats.

My legislation would help stop reckless spending by converting the annual federal budget process to a two-year cycle, with one year for appropriating federal dollars and the other year devoted only to much-needed oversight of federal programs. Biennial budgeting has been used successfully in a number of states. At the federal level, it would allow Congress to spend more time planning ahead and break the constant cycle of crises and brinkmanship that too often results in bloated omnibus spending bills put together at the last minute.

One of the problems in Congress is that we rarely make time to perform a careful, thorough review of federal spending. Therefore, Congress continues to spend money on projects that shouldn’t be funded with tax dollars and programs that have outlasted their usefulness. A biennial budget system is an idea that has been endorsed by each successive president since Ronald Reagan, as well as numerous federal budget experts. The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee has now endorsed the concept of biennial budgeting, as well as the U.S. House Majority Leader.

Balanced Budget Amendment
I have repeatedly co-sponsored a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance the federal budget. With our national debt skyrocketing past an unprecedented $19 trillion and our deficit spending at $616 billion, it is urgent that Washington get its fiscal house in order. These spending habits are unsustainable and jeopardize the financial future of our country.

Members of Congress should lead by example when it comes to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and that begins in their own Congressional office budgets. I have consistently returned hundreds of thousands of dollars every year from my office budget to the Treasury as a member of the Senate and as a former member of the U.S. House.

Budget Resolution
Early in 2015, under the Republican-led Congress, we passed a Budget Resolution that took the first step in a new direction for Washington: a leaner, more effective and less intrusive federal government. It balances the budget over 10 years by controlling spending and reducing the deficit. It supports economic growth and more opportunity for hardworking families while protecting those who truly need help. And it paves the way for further action to stop spending on programs we don’t need, cuts the red tape that holds back job creation, and refocuses the federal government on core priorities such as protecting our national defense.

I will continue to work to cut wasteful spending and demand fiscal responsibility from the federal government. I look forward to leading our nation back in the right direction with a more efficient, effective and accountable government. 

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