Press Releases

Grothman Introduces Bipartisan Stop the Baseline Bloat Act

Washington, April 19, 2024 | Noelle Young (202-225-2476)
Tags: Budget

Congressmen Glenn Grothman (R-WI) and Ed Case (D-HI) have introduced the bipartisan Stop the Baseline Bloat Act. This legislation aims to ensure a more honest accounting of what the federal government plans to spend by removing emergency spending from the baseline budget. According to the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization, Congress has designated $12 trillion in spending for emergencies over the past 30 years. The current practice of including emergency spending in the CBO baseline budget on an annual basis skews the baseline budget toward higher spending, distorting the fiscal outlook, and contributing to the dire fiscal state of our country.

This bill has received strong support by a coalition including Citizens Against Government Waste, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, National Taxpayers Union, and Taxpayers Protection Alliance and is cosponsored by Michael Cloud (R-TX), Nancy Mace (R-SC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Andy Ogles (R-TN), and Randy Weber (R-TX).

"Inflation has reached outrageous levels over the past several years, and the federal government bears responsibility for it,” said Congressman Glenn Grothman. “This bill will greatly impact the American people by increasing the transparency between the government and the citizens. The CBO cannot continue to create a budget baseline that justifies outrageous spending levels. Getting the country’s fiscal house in order starts with an unbiased CBO baseline.”

"The path out of our growing budget crisis starts with accurate and transparent budgets,” said Congressman Ed Case (HI-01). “A budget that inflates prior year spending to conceal real growth year-to-year is neither accurate nor transparent. Our measure would eliminate these budgetary tricks that conceal our dangerous journey into fiscal irresponsibility.”

“Erroneous spending is a byproduct of flawed math in D.C. Adding emergency spending to long-tern investments is like including your emergency fund in your monthly income. Removing it from the Congressional Budget Office baseline is a crucial step to stop flawed calculations that justify D.C.’s spending problem,” said Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC)

“The current CBO baseline treats temporary emergency appropriations as permanent and growing expenditures, baking in a bias of higher spending and undermining guardrails that emergency spending is intended to respond to necessary, sudden, urgent, unforeseen, and not permanent situations. The Stop the Baseline Bloat Act would remove emergency and other supplemental appropriations from the discretionary spending baseline, increasing transparency, such that when Congress decides to rely on emergency and supplemental funding to increase topline levels, a spending increase gets scored as such.” - Romina Boccia, Director of Budget and Entitlement Policy, Cato Institute

“The Stop Baseline Bloat Act would help restore fiscal restraint in the budgeting process by stripping out the cost of emergency and supplemental appropriations from the CBO baseline. As is evident from the designation of their purpose, such legislation is not meant to have a permanent impact on the budget by inflating the amount of future spending." - Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

“The Congressional Budget Office’s baseline is filled with distortions, many of which are required by law, that drive spending higher. Rep. Grothman’s Stop the Baseline Bloat Act would help fix this problem by removing the assumption that one-time emergency appropriations are repeated each year in the baseline – a distortion that effectively bakes ‘emergency’ spending into the baseline for future spending.”- Brittany Madni, Executive Vice President of the Economic Policy Innovation Center (EPIC)

“NTU is pleased to support Rep. Glenn Grothman's 'Stop the Baseline Bloat Act,' which would remove emergency spending from the CBO baseline. Under current scoring conventions, these temporary, one-time expenditures inflate the baseline, pushing spending ever higher. This legislation will help Congress tackle our nation's top fiscal problem: our out-of-control debt." -- Brandon Arnold, Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

“TPA is proud to support Rep. Grothman’s Stop the Baseline Bloat Act. The CBO’s baseline budget calculations should not include emergency spending and supplemental appropriations, nor increase them each year with inflation. Emergency spending is inherently a temporary measure, not spread out over 10 years. Removing this simple bias from the baseline budget will lower spending and promote long-term fiscal responsibility.” - David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

 "One-time emergency spending can artificially inflate the baseline produced by the Congressional Budget Office, creating the opportunity for lawmakers to use fake savings as an offset. We appreciate the efforts of Representative Glenn Grothman (R-WI) to improve the budget process and provide greater transparency by removing emergency spending from CBO's baseline." Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Reasonable Federal Budget


U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) is serving his fifth term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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