In remarks on the U.S. Senate floor Monday, Senator Bob Corker said senators should reject using a budget gimmick known as pension smoothing to pay for a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund and instead commit to a long-term, sustainable solution to highway funding.
“Many claim that budget gimmicks should not be used as offsets to pay for spending," said Senator Corker. "But time and time again Congress avoids the tough decisions and instead throws our kids under the bus just so we can tell people back home that legislation was passed that was paid for. I have long been against the disgraceful practice of spending money today and paying for it in the future. It’s shameful; it’s irresponsible; and it’s generational theft. Yet here we are this week – looking for a way to pass a bill that would pay for spending that is already happening by using a blatant budget scheme called ‘pension smoothing.’ Not only does it allow Congress to spend money today and pay for it through savings accrued in the future, but the gimmick actually loses money.
“I’m pleased there is bipartisan momentum to change this, and I hope my colleagues will support the amendment Senators Carper, Boxer and I are offering that would reject the budget gimmicks in this bill and force Congress to stop shirking its responsibility so we can work toward passing a long-term transportation bill.”