WASHINGTON—Former Senator Alan Simpson and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles this week announced their support for Senator Romney’s TRUST Act, legislation he introduced with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to rescue endangered federal trust funds. Simpson and Bowles led the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which was one of the last bipartisan efforts to reduce our national debt.
Additional co-sponsors of the TRUST Act include Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Doug Jones (D-AL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), and Rob Portman (R-OH). U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Ed Case (D-HI), William Timmons (R-SC), and Ben McAdams (D-UT) have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives, where the bill has also been endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition.
“It has been nine years since the Fiscal Commission we co-chaired released common sense comprehensive recommendations to fix the debt and to secure our major entitlement programs, those programs still remain in serious financial jeopardy. The Social Security, Medicare, and Highway Trust Funds are all predicted to be insolvent in the next 15 years, triggering deep across-the-board cuts in benefits. While most people in Washington would prefer to put – or leave! – their heads in the sand, the TRUST Act would create a truly bipartisan process to save these important programs. We know from personal experience that when Democrats, Republicans, and Independents honestly work together in good faith, they can identify real and lasting solutions: the Fiscal Commission recommendations were supported by 11 of 18 commissioners. We earnestly thank Senators Romney and Manchin, Representatives Gallagher and Case, and other co-sponsors for taking the lead on this important and vital effort. Time is running out to enact critical and thoughtful reforms to appropriately fund our infrastructure and return solvency to Social Security and Medicare.” – Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
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 ensure 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.