Rounds, Colleagues Introduce TRUST Act for Inclusion in COVID-19 Relief Legislation
Bipartisan, bicameral legislation would rescue endangered federal trust funds and rein in national debt
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) joined Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and 13 other colleagues to introduce the Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts (TRUST) Act of 2020, bipartisan and bicameral legislation which would create a process to rescue the endangered federal trust funds and rein in the national debt. The TRUST Act of 2020 is an updated version of the TRUST Act, which Rounds cosponsored last year.
“I strongly support efforts to manage the 70 percent of the budget that we don’t currently vote on,” said Rounds. “This is the biggest driver of our debt. This legislation creates congressional committees specifically tasked to develop legislation to restore and strengthen endangered federal trust funds. Without legislative action, the government’s trust funds—Highway, Medicare Hospital Insurance, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance—will be exhausted in the next thirteen years. It is irresponsible for Congress to continue ignoring this preventable crisis. If we establish a process now in which we can actually manage these trusts, we will be able to get a better handle on our debt. This effort prevents these vital programs from becoming insolvent and protects the citizens these programs are intended to benefit.”
In addition to Rounds and Romney, the TRUST Act of 2020 is cosponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). U.S. Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Ed Case (D-Hawaii), William Timmons (R-S.C.), Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Scott Peters (D-Calif.) previously introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Recently, 60 House members – evenly split between Republicans and Democrats – wrote a letter urging their leadership to include the TRUST Act in the next relief package.
HOW THE TRUST ACT OF 2020 WORKS:
- At the beginning of January 2021, the Treasury would have to deliver to Congress a report of the government’s major, endangered federal trust funds.
- Congressional leaders would appoint members to serve on “Rescue Committees”—one per trust fund—with the mandate to draft legislation that restores solvency and otherwise improves each trust fund program.
- Rescue Committees would make sure bipartisan consensus is reached by requiring at least two members of each party to report legislation.
- If a Rescue Committee reports a qualifying bill for its trust fund program, it would receive expedited consideration in both chambers.