Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Joe Manchin’s bill to stabilize the national debt, which has more than doubled in the last decade, has been gaining bipartisan support in Congress.
The Fiscal Stability Act aims to strengthen and stabilize the country’s fiscal health by establishing a commission to find solutions to decrease the national debt that currently exceeds $33.6 trillion.
The legislation would require Congress to take an up or down vote on the proposed solutions, adding an extra layer of accountability.
“Establishing our bipartisan fiscal commission will help balance our budgets, keep government spending lean and responsible, and protect and strengthen the Medicare and Social Security benefits hard-working Arizonans have earned with every paycheck,” said Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., a co-sponsor of the bill.
Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., another co-sponsor, said he also supports creating the commission, which, he added, is the best way to create real reform amid a highly polarized political climate.
The bill has at least six other co-sponsors, including Republican Sens. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, John Cornyn of Texas and Thom Tillis of North Carolina; and Democratic Sens. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Mark Warner of Virginia and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.
The Bipartisan Policy Solutions Action, a nonprofit that advocates for federal policy, commended the effort made by the senators, while making recommendations for the establishment of a commission, according to a press release.
“In establishing a fiscal commission today, lawmakers should ensure it first identifies why our country’s fiscal outlook is a problem, establishes bipartisan principles to address it, and then offers policy options that adhere to those principles,” the statement said.
Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Scott Peters, D-Calif.
Meanwhile, former House Speaker Paul Ryan applauded Romney, R-Utah, and Manchin, D-W.Va., for working on the issue together and called the bill a “good-faith” effort.
The same day Romney and Machin introduced the Fiscal Stability Act, Manchin announced he would not be seeking reelection in 2024.
In response to the news, Romney wrote on X, “I will miss this American patriot in the Senate. But our friendship and our commitment to American values will not end,” as the Deseret News reported.
Romney and Manchin have worked together on legislation like the infrastructure bill and pandemic-era relief.
The Utah senator is also not seeking another term in the Senate. He previously told the Deseret News that among the key issues he will focus on during his remaining time in office is tackling the looming debt.
“It is immoral and unacceptable for my generation to keep adding to the national debt, expecting our grandchildren to foot the bill for our benefits for the rest of their lives,” Romney previously said in a statement.
“As a country, we must get serious about the national debt, which is why Sen. Manchin and I are coming together to propose a new fiscal commission tasked with coming up with legislative solutions to improve the federal government’s fiscal health and get a handle on the debt before it’s too late,” he said.