November 03, 2021

Following the Modernization Committee’s Recommendation, Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution Passes the House

Today, Chair Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Vice Chair William Timmons (R-SC) applauded the passage of H. Con. Res. 44, the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution. This resolution, introduced by Representatives Kathleen Rice (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), requires the Comptroller General to present the Financial Report of the United States Government in an annual joint hearing of the House and Senate Budget Committees. H. Con. Res. 44 aligns with a recommendation advanced by the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (“Modernization Committee”) in the 116th Congress.

For a number of years, I avoided stepping on a scale because I was about 90 pounds heavier than I am now. Eventually, I figured out that you can’t get a handle on things by ignoring them. Occasionally, you’ve got to step on that scale. That’s the ethic this bill embraces,” said Chair Kilmer (D-WA).  “It simply says that, if we’re going to get a handle on our long-term fiscal challenges and have an economy that works better for everyone, we’ve got to occasionally hear a clear statement of the nation’s financial realities from a non-partisan, unbiased source. As the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress looked at proposals to improve the budget and appropriations process, we recommended this as an important reform.  We congratulate Congresswoman Rice and Congressman Barr for their progress.”


“Congress has a responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and protect our long-term fiscal health,” said Vice Chair William Timmons (R-SC). “Requiring lawmakers to be updated annually on the fiscal health of our nation is a good step we can take to achieve that goal. As the Modernization committee looks to recommend more changes to our broken budget and appropriations process, I applaud the passage of this common-sense measure that will help educate and inform this body on fiscal responsibility and our economic future.”


In the 116th Congress, the Modernization Committee advanced a recommendation unanimously to require a Fiscal State of the Nation to be given annually to ensure lawmakers are creating policy based on the same nonpartisan information.


The committee believed that providing members of Congress with access to nonpartisan information about the many factors contributing to the nation’s debt and deficit would allow Congress to better develop sound fiscal policies and meet long-term debt and deficit reduction goals. In its final report from the 116th Congress, the committee noted that “A Fiscal State of the Nation” address would also encourage communication between the executive and legislative branches and improve the ability for all parties involved in the budget and appropriations process to make decisions based on a common set of facts.