Lummis, Rick Scott introduce bill to empower states and local governments to help reduce national debt

May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Pay Down the Debt Act of 2021, a bill that would permit state and local governments to redirect grants they receive from the federal government toward reducing federal deficit spending, giving concerned state and local leaders a way to help address the staggering national debt that our nation faces.

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan in March, and numerous states have since opted out of an extra unemployment payment included in the law.

“We are on an unsustainable fiscal trajectory, and at present states and localities are powerless to do anything about it,” Senator Lummis said. “Through our bill, state and local leaders would be able to take unused or unnecessary funds that they have been awarded by the federal government and redirect those funds to address our $28 trillion national debt. If we do not start paying our debt now, our grandchildren will have to pay it later.”

Senator Rick Scott said, “Our nation is nearing $30 trillion in debt and President Biden and the Democrats continue to spend American taxpayer dollars with reckless abandon. Anyone in state and local government who calls themselves a fiscal conservative knows there is no such thing as free money. This is American taxpayer money and lawmakers have a responsibility to spend it wisely. Governors, mayors and state legislatures across the country need to stand up and say the disastrous fiscal path we’re headed down is wrong. Our bill promotes fiscal responsibility by allowing them to redirect grants they receive from the federal government, like the hundreds of billions in bailouts allocated by the Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, toward reducing federal deficit spending.”

To read the bill, click here.

Senator Lummis is a leading advocate for decreasing the national debt in the Senate. Last month, she introduced the Sustainable Budget Act of 2021, a bill that would create a task force similar to the 2010 Simpson-Bowles Commission with the goal of finding a way to balance the federal budget.