This weekend we celebrated America’s independence with barbeques, parades and fireworks.  For 240 years our experiment in democracy has shown the world that a government governed by the people can flourish. In November, we will head to the polls again and cast our votes for the next Commander-in-Chief.

Regardless of which party claims the White House, our next President will be faced with significant challenges.  There is perhaps no greater problem for our nation than the dire situation of our fiscal house.

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Today, the United States has a national debt that is over $19 trillion – doubling since 2005 – and according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, our nation’s annual deficits will triple by the year 2026.  Our social insurance programs face a bleak outlook as well -- the most recent Social Security Trustees Report stating that Social Security faces insolvency in 2034 and Medicare is projected to be insolvent in 2028. 

Unfortunately, in Washington, Congress too often ignores the difficult problems. Understandably, this frustrates every-day Americans who send their elected representatives to tackle today’s big issues.  The political rancor and hyper-partisanship has crippled Washington.  To overcome this divide in the House of Representatives, we co-founded the Bipartisan Working Group (BPWG), which now consists of over 20 Republicans and Democrats who meet every week to work to find bipartisan solutions to the problems that face this country. 

While we do not always agree on every issue, all members of the group agree that our national debt and future financial obligations are a serious threat to our country’s well-being and must be addressed. We need to get serious about our fiscal future and lawmakers must fully understand the financial position of the United States in order to adequately address these issues. 

To help accomplish this, 24 members of the BPWG introduced the Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution this past week.  This common-sense resolution will simply require the Comptroller General of the United States, our chief auditor, to present our country’s audited financial report to a Joint Session of Congress, which is broadcasted for the American people. 

Former Comptroller General Dave Walker supports the measure, stating “[t]his is a critically important subject and the Comptroller General is the right non-partisan professional to perform this function."

By ensuring all lawmakers, and the American people they represent, are presented with complete and factual information on the income, budget deficits and surpluses, and projections of social insurance programs, we will be one step closer to truly understanding the challenging decisions we need to make to right the ship.

Currently, in order to access this information you would need to sift through a financial report that is over 300 pages long and is posted on the Department of Treasury’s and Government Accountability Office’s websites. It’s a document that seems to go unnoticed by many, if not all, Members of Congress. 

Solving our fiscal problems will not be easy and will take time. But saddling our children and grandchildren with massive debt is unacceptable. 

We believe that without educating lawmakers and Americans, on an annual basis, politicians will continue to lack the will necessary to develop a real solution.  While this resolution is only a first step, we look forward to working with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to tackle the fiscal challenges facing our country. 


Jim Renacci has represented Ohio’s 16th Congressional District since 2011. He sits on the Budget and the Ways and Means committees. John Carney has served as Delaware's lone member since 2011 and is a member of the Financial Services committee.