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Washington, D.C. – Getting the country’s fiscal house in order requires an ‘all hands on deck’ approach from Congress which is why U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., are backing an effort to end the ‘use it or lose it’ mentality that many state legislatures have when deciding on accepting federal money.

“For too long state legislatures have been forced to ‘use it or watch another state use it’ when it comes to federal dollars. That mindset is understandable within the confines of the current system but it is high time we change the system. It is an added bonus that changing the system can also decrease the national debt,” said Enzi. “This three page bill could have a profound impact on the way state legislatures deal with federal funds and give them more peace of mind when they do turn down federal dollars.”

“Folks in Wyoming understand that our nation is facing a serious debt crisis,” said Barrasso. “This bill makes it easier for our state to send unused federal money back to Washington to help pay down the debt.  Congress should pass this commonsense bill immediately.”

Enzi and Barrasso are co-sponsors of the Returned Exclusively for Unpaid National Debt (REFUND) Act introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. The bill would require the federal government to send all unspent grant or stimulus money returned by the states back to the Department of Treasury for debt reduction purposes. Currently, any money sent back by the states is reallocated to other states or programs.

The bill, S. 1009, has been referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.