U.S. Senator Marco Rubio today introduced the Returned Exclusively For Unpaid National Debt (REFUND) Act. This legislation would allow states to identify and return unwanted federal funds to the federal treasury in order to help pay down the $16.7 trillion national debt. The REFUND Act has 16 original cosponsors in the Senate and a companion bill, H.R.282, has already been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3).
“Excessive spending is fueling our growing debt, yet states have little say in what happens to federal money if they choose not to spend it,” said Rubio. “The REFUND ACT can help end the ‘use-it-or-lose-it’ mentality which encourages states to take debt-financed money from Washington. Instead it will empower them with a way to help slow the steady rise of the national debt.”
“Many state officials and leaders realize the national debt is an increasing burden to our children and grandchildren and want to help stop Washington’s spending spree to help alleviate that burden. The REFUND Act will give states an opportunity to end the practice of spending money we don’t have and serve as an incentive for them to help pay down the debt and re-embark on a path toward economic growth and opportunity.”
The REFUND Act would allow any state to designate federal funds as “unwanted” through a resolution from the state legislature, which would then be allocated towards debt reduction at the Treasury Department. The REFUND Act would require that an annual report be submitted to Congress each year detailing the amount deposited by each state. The REFUND Act has been endorsed by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU).
Original cosponsors of the REFUND Act are Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Saxby Chambliss, (R-GA), Dan Coats (R-IN), Tom Coburn (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rand Paul (R-KY), Jim Risch (R-ID) and David Vitter (R-LA).
The question is will the states put the best interests of the American people first? Or will they keep the money.
Many times state political leaders argue that if we don’t take the money it will go to another state. Now, that excuse could become invalid. Let’s see if this gets passed in a divided Washington, where two thirds of the politicians want more taxes and more spending.