Barr Statement on Debt Limit

February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON - Congressman Barr released the following statement on the debt limit:

"Today, I voted against legislation to increase the debt limit because it would have been unfair to young people and the next generation to raise the debt ceiling without real reforms that restrain spending and put our nation back on a path to a balanced budget.

“At the same time, we have a responsibility to advance real solutions that will ensure Congress is able to meet its obligations, while also reducing spending and holding Washington accountable to the American people. That is why yesterday, I introduced legislation to change the way Washington works by advancing a new, much-needed solution that will hold politicians accountable, promote economic growth and job creation, and restrain future spending without threatening default on past obligations."

Congressman Barr introduced H.R. 4021, the Debt Limit Reform and Congressional Pay for Performance Act of 2014, which would suspend the current process for establishing the debt ceiling and replace it with a declining schedule of annual fiscal responsibility targets based on the ratio of U.S. debt to gross domestic product (GDP). By tying this new debt ceiling formula to the size of the economy, H.R. 4021 combines the need for lawmakers to enact policies that will grow the economy with the need to restrain spending.  An enforcement penalty tied to the pay of Members of Congress would be triggered should Congress fail to meet the fiscal sustainability target in a particular year.  Specifically, the compensation of Members of Congress would be reduced by the same percentage as the difference between the target debt-to-GDP ratio and the actual debt-to-GDP ratio.