"Just as small businesses across the country have to balance their books and working families have live within their means, Congress must learn better stewardship of taxpayer dollars," Owens said when he proposed his bill in the last Congress.

"With the debt now exceeding $14 trillion, it is well past time to put our fiscal house in order," he said then. Two years later, the debt is now fast approaching $17 trillion.

Under his bill, H.R. 1956, people could buy War on Debt Bonds from the government at a minimum $10,000 face value. Annual, tax-free interest on these bonds would accumulate, and owners could redeem them only after 50 years.

Money collected by the government from these purchases would be used to reduce foreign-held public debt. But the bill would also put new pressure on the government not to overspend.

Specifically, it would allow holders to redeem their War on Debt Bonds earlier than 50 years, during any year in which the budget deficit exceeds 3 percent of gross domestic product, or if the public debt exceeds 10 percent of GDP.