Don’t Retreat On Spending Restraint

NDAADon’t Retreat On Spending RestraintAn open letter to the U.S. Senate to oppose Sen. Cotton’s amendment to the NDAA

National Security,  | Data & Documents
Jun 12, 2018  | 3 min read | Print Article

TCS joined a number of fiscally conservative groups in an open letter to the U.S. Senate, urging all Senators to oppose Senator Cotton’s short-sighted amendment. With our national debt approaching $20 trillion, now is not the time to weaken or do away with fiscal restraint.


June 12, 2018
Open Letter to the U.S. Senate:
Oppose Efforts to Retreat on Spending Restraint

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, we strongly urge
all Senators to oppose Senator Cotton’s (R-AR) amendment #2321 to S. 2987, the John
S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.

This short-sighted amendment would eliminate the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) sequester
mechanism for all discretionary spending (both defense and non-defense), rendering the spending
caps unenforceable and reneging on Congress’ promise to deliver $1 trillion in deficit reduction by

Despite repeated budget agreements that amended the BCA’s caps, the BCA has nonetheless been an
essential check on the congressional impulse to overspend. The BCA has generated significant
savings for taxpayers, established a lower budget baseline, and forced much-needed waste reduction
and prioritization of programmatic needs across federal agencies.

The annual Defense authorization act is an improper vehicle to unwind the BCA. Any discussion of
repealing or changing the caps ought to be done in the context of other significant reforms that
would generate real savings for taxpayers – both now AND in the future.

As the BCA has successfully demonstrated, even modest spending reductions now will positively
affect our fiscal outlook for years to come, particularly on the mandatory spending side of the
ledger. These savings couldn’t be more urgent. The most recent Budget and Economic Outlook report
from the Congressional Budget Office estimates that deficits will once again exceed $1 trillion
beginning in FY19 as the the national debt soars to historic levels.

Repealing the BCA in the absence of a comprehensive plan to restrain our out-of-control spending
would represent yet another failure of Congress to exercise the fiscal restraint that our economy
urgently requires.


Brandon Arnold

Executive Vice President

National Taxpayers Union


Norm Singleton


Campaign for Liberty


Taxpayer Groups Urge “YES” Vote on Bipartisan Amendment Cutting Defense Waste

Andrew F. Quinlan


Center for Freedom & Prosperity


Jonathan Bydlak


Coalition to Reduce Spending


Dan Caldwell

Executive Director

Concerned Veterans for America


Tom Schatz


Council for Citizens Against Government Waste


Richard A. Viguerie




Edward King


Defense Priorities Initiative


Adam Brandon




Heather R. Higgins

President and CEO

Independent Women’s Voice


Steve Ellis

Vice President

Taxpayers for Common Sense


David Williams


Taxpayers Protection Alliance