Rounds: TRUST Act ‘Important Step Toward Addressing Debt Crisis’
Legislation Receives Endorsement from Deficit-Reduction Leaders Simpson and Bowles
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D) announced today that he is a cosponsor of the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts (TRUST) Act, which would create congressional committees specifically tasked to develop legislation to restore and strengthen endangered federal trust funds. Without legislative action, the government’s trust funds - Highway, Medicare Hospital Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance - will be exhausted in the next thirteen years.
The TRUST Act was endorsed this week by former Senator Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, leaders in debt-reduction efforts and former co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a bipartisan Presidential Commission on deficit reduction.
“I’ve said countless times that we must take bold action to get our debt under control,” said Rounds. “Our legislation takes an important step toward putting our federal trust programs on a sustainable path and addresses our debt crisis, allowing Congress to actively manage federal trust funds. Congress must check the growth of mandatory payments, which make up around 70 percent of all federal spending and include important trust funds, if we are ever to begin reducing our debt. The debt crisis is preventable and these trust funds are savable – but we must begin to act now.”
How the TRUST Act works:
- Treasury would have 45 days upon passage of the legislation to deliver to Congress a report of the government’s major, endangered federal trust funds.
- Congressional leaders would appoint members to serve on “Rescue Committees”—one per trust fund—with the mandate to draft legislation that restores solvency and otherwise improves each trust fund program.
- Rescue Committees would make sure there is bipartisan consensus by requiring at least two members of each party to report legislation.
- If a Rescue Committee reports a qualifying bill, it would receive expedited consideration in both chambers. While 60 votes would be required to invoke cloture for final passage in the Senate, only a simple majority would be needed for the motion to proceed, which would be privileged.