Romney: We must act now to prevent looming debt crisis

Urges committee to bring up bipartisan, bicameral TRUST Act to rescue endangered trust funds

hsgac hearing
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) today participated in a hearing on the causes of America’s unsustainable fiscal path. In October, Senator Romney introduced the TRUST Act, bipartisan and bicameral 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.

Key excerpts of his remarks at the hearing today are below.

“If we do nothing—if we do nothing—then we will at some point reach a crisis where at that point we will have to raise taxes like crazy, which would clearly impact the economy or cut benefits that would hurt our seniors. That is unacceptable. Either one of those is unacceptable. The only other alternative is to work on a bipartisan basis. And if we just keep waiting and say we’re not  going to do anything until we actually run out of money in these funds—Medicare, Social Security, the Highway Trust Fund—the consequence is very, very severe. So we’re simply proposing that we get together, that we find a way to actually meet. We rarely have occasions to meet on the bipartisan basis in this chamber and across the Capitol with the House.

“So we’re saying, let’s get the House Republicans and Democrats, Senate Republicans and Democrats together in small committees. If they can come up with a bipartisan solution, bring it to the floor in each chamber on a privileged basis for an up or down vote. And I believe that is the only way we are going to prevent a circumstance where we face a crisis, a collapse, in one of these funds, dramatic cuts in benefits or dramatic increases in taxes, either one of which would be unacceptable. So I am delighted to be able to hear from our experts today and hope that I’ll be able to get all of the members of our committee say, yeah let’s get together, work as a group of committees to see if we can’t solve these looming challenges.”