Corker introduces CAP Act to reduce spending

photo Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, accompanied by Sen. Claire McCaskill,D-Mo., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, to discuss the introduction of the "CAP Act," a bipartisan bill that would put binding cap on all federal spending. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government currently takes in a lot less revenue than it actually spends, and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has a plan to flip that equation on its head.

Today, Corker introduced a bill with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., that would require Congress to cap all spending at a "declining level" of the country's Gross Domestic Product over the next decade.

Entitled the "CAP Act," the legislation would slowly bring federal spending to 20.6 percent of GDP, down from its current level of 24.7 percent, according to Corker.

The bill "forces us absolutely to prioritize, so there's no question it will constrain us," Corker said at a press conference unveiling the proposal."

"The toughest thing we have around here, though, is cutting existing programs because they all have constituencies, but there's no question that this bill will force us to do it," he said.

Under the legislation Congress could only override the declining spending cap if two-thirds of members of both the House and Senate voted to do so.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and both of Georgia's Republican senators are also original co-sponsors of the legislation.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the national deficit will reach a record of more than $1.5 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2011 - a staggering figure that has lawmakers in both parties concerned.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.