AFP statement on pursuing crisis resolution and budgeting

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Arlington, Virginia – Responding to reports of continued short-term resolve to avoid government shutdown, Kurt Couchman, AFP’s head of fiscal policy, issued the following statement:

“Recent coverage of a potential government shutdown too often overlooks the failing federal fiscal system. Congress needs a comprehensive, deliberative approach to setting federal budget priorities instead of the current tendency to jump from crisis to crisis. The American people deserve better than massive waste, frustration, debt, and other bad outcomes. Routinely leading the country to the brink of shutdowns should be a flashing red signal of a dysfunctional system, but it has become standard procedure.

“Failure to control spending and debt – over the past 15 years, but especially during the pandemic – has created today’s inflation crisis and broader economic turmoil. The good news is that the Congress can solve this problem.

“We need Congress to adopt and stick to reasonable fiscal targets. To achieve these goals, Congress will have to draw up a real budget each year, including all expenditures and revenues, so that the representatives of the people can establish priorities in a comprehensive way. And when it comes to government shutdowns, it’s high time to return to the common practice before 1980, when programs continued at the status quo instead of stopping. These patches and other related solutions can help us escape political and economic dysfunctions and allow us to defeat inflation by working together.

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