Announcing the Introduction of a Bill to Establish a Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action

GAO-07-1272CG: Published: Sep 18, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2007.

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This speech was given by the Comptroller General before a Press Conference on September 18, 2007. As I have noted on numerous occasions, our nation is on an imprudent and unsustainable fiscal path. Tough choices are required in order to help ensue that our future is better than our past. The sooner we make these choices the better because time is working against us. During the past two years, I have traveled to 23 states as part of the Fiscal Wake-up Tour. During the tour, it has become clear that the American people are starved for two things from their elected officials--truth and leadership. I am here today because Senators Conrad and Gregg are trying to address this need. I'm pleased to say that several other members on both sides of the political aisle and on both ends of Capitol Hill are taking steps to answer this call by proposing bills to accomplish similar objectives and by also putting "everything on the table." I was especially pleased to see that the task force that would be created by Senator Conrad's and Gregg's legislation was informed by GAO's work on the key elements necessary for any task force or commission to be successful. For example, the commission would have a statutory basis, be bipartisan, involve leaders from both the executive and the legislative branches, and would require a super-majority vote for any recommendations to be sent to the President and the Congress. As a result, the Conrad-Gregg proposal provides one potential means to achieve an objective we all should share--takings steps to make the tough choices necessary to Keep America Great, and to help make sure that our country's, children's and grandchildren's future is better than our past. Hopefully, this and other related bills will be given serious and timely consideration by the Congress and the President.