Ranking Member Womack Statement on CBO’s Update to the Budget Outlook and Outlook for Major Federal Trust Funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Steve Womack (R-AR) today issued the following statement upon release of two reports by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO): Update to the Budget Outlook: 2020-2030 and Outlook for Major Federal Trust Funds: 2020-2030.

“Today’s release of CBO’s update to the Budget Outlook confirms what we feared. Our already unsustainable fiscal situation has only worsened since the outbreak of the pandemic. The deficit for fiscal year 2020 is projected to be $3.3 trillion, more than triple the previous year’s deficit and by far the highest in American history. Just as alarming, the public debt is projected to be larger than the entire economy by next year. We can’t afford to ignore our current trajectory.

“While defeating the virus should be the priority of lawmakers, solutions must be considered in the context of the larger fiscal condition. Now, more than ever, Congress needs to put forward a blueprint to address rising deficits and debt. This duty is fulfilled through adoption of a budget resolution, which House Budget Committee Democrats have neglected to do in the past two years. I am calling on my colleagues to produce a plan to correct our current, unsustainable fiscal path. Failure to do so will result in Americans facing another emergency – a fiscal crisis which will adversely affect every single family.

“Additionally, CBO projects in its Outlook for Major Federal Trust Funds report that several trust funds dealing with critical transportation, health, and retirement security programs are not spared from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result being sooner than expected insolvency dates. As I requested, CBO included additional data and details on the fiscal status of these trust funds to give officials a clearer picture of the looming crisis. We must find solutions to save these programs that benefit current and future generations without driving our nation further into debt.” 

Key Findings from the CBO Reports:

  • The deficit for fiscal year 2020 is projected to be $3.3 trillion, more than triple the previous year’s deficit and by far the highest in American history.
  • Between fiscal years 2021-2030, annual deficits are expected to exceed one trillion dollars every year.
  • The public debt is projected to be larger than the size of the entire economy (104 percent of GDP) by next year and will continue to increase to more than $33 trillion by fiscal year 2030.
  • Within the next four years, the Highway Trust Fund and the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will be exhausted, by 2021 and 2024 respectively.
  • Within the next 11 years, the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund and the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund will both be depleted, in 2026 and 2031 respectively.