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Modernizing Performance: Using the New Framework

Testimony before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee Task Force on Government Performance

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SOURCE: Center for American Progress

John Podesta

CAP President and CEO John Podesta testifies before the Senate Budget Committee Task Force on Government Performance. Read the full testimony (CAP Action).

Mr. Chairman, members of the task force, I am pleased to be here today to celebrate enactment of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 and talk about the implementation challenges ahead. But first I want to talk about the broader government performance agenda, of which the new law is an important piece, and how it relates to our fiscal troubles.

As you know, the Congressional Budget Office is projecting a nearly $1.5 trillion federal deficit this year. The record-breaking size of this year’s deficit is mostly a product of past fiscal mismanagement combined with the enormous impact of the Great Recession. But that is behind us now. Virtually everyone agrees that we must return to balance over the long term.

That will be difficult under any circumstances, and more so if we act rashly. Economic recovery is underway, but it remains fragile. Harsh “austerity measures” in the United Kingdom may be pushing that country back into recession.

Nevertheless, we need to consider all of our options for deficit reduction. And though spending is only one side of the equation, we are facing hard choices and cuts are part of the solution.

Congress and the executive branch will have to make smart decisions about where to make cuts so that we continue to see growth and job creation while bringing down our long-term deficits. This requires, as President Obama has said, a scalpel, not a hatchet.

CAP President and CEO John Podesta testifies before the Senate Budget Committee Task Force on Government Performance. Read the full testimony (CAP Action).

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