July 27, 2020

Young, Bipartisan Coalition Introduce TRUST Act for Inclusion in Next Relief Package

WASHINGTON—As the Senate negotiates the next COVID-19 relief package, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), along with 13 Republican and Democratic cosponsors today introduced 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. A one pager of the legislation is available here and text of the legislation is available here


The TRUST Act of 2020 is cosponsored by Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), 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.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), 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.


 “As we continue to confront the coronavirus pandemic, we must ensure our schools and employers can safely reopen and our health care providers have the resources they need to fight this virus. At the same time, we need to lay the foundation for restoring fiscal health through economic growth and fiscal responsibility. By including the TRUST Act in the next phase of coronavirus relief legislation, we can set in motion a bipartisan national plan to finally begin tackling the long-term drivers of our national debt once we get through this crisis,” Senator Young said.


“Among its many devastating effects, COVID-19 has threatened the fiscal health of essential programs like Medicare and Social Security,” Senator Romney said. “If Congress does not respond quickly, the day of insolvency for these programs will now come years sooner than expected. The TRUST Act is a bipartisan solution to shore up these programs and get us off the path of fiscal danger.”



  • 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 ensure bipartisan consensus 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. While 60 votes would be required to invoke cloture prior to final passage in the Senate, only a simple majority would be needed for the motion to proceed, which would be privileged.



“While most people in Washington would prefer to put – or leave! – their heads in the sand, the TRUST Actwould create a truly bipartisan process to save these important programs. We know from personal experience that when Democrats, Republicans, and Independents honestly work together in good faith, they can identify real and lasting solutions: the Fiscal Commission recommendations were supported by 11 of 18 commissioners. We earnestly thank Senators Romney and Manchin, Representatives Gallagher and Case, and other co-sponsors for taking the lead on this important and vital effort. Time is running out to enact critical and thoughtful reforms to appropriately fund our infrastructure and return solvency to Social Security and Medicare.” –Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform


In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a bipartisan group of 60 House members wrote, “As the crisis recedes and our nation recovers, we cannot ignore the pressing issue of the national debt, which could do irreparable damage to our country. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the debt held by the public is likely to exceed 100 percent of GDP in just a few months, and it will hit record levels in a few years. In addition, trust funds for some of our most critical programs will face exhaustion far sooner than we expected as a result of the current crisis. Trust fund insolvency threatens serious hardship for those who depend on the programs…We, therefore, respectfully request that further pandemic-response legislation include provisions for future budget reforms to ensure we confront these issues when the economy is strong enough, Enacting a consensus process like the Time to Rescue United States Trusts (TRUST) Act would create special bipartisan, bicameral rescue committees to give these programs the priority and urgency they deserve.” 


“Some of the federal government’s most important trust fund programs are headed toward insolvency. The TRUST Act offers renewed hope that we can address these imbalances before it is too late. Senators Romney and Manchin deserve great praise for taking on a challenge that far too many ignore, by proposing to establish a process to achieve bipartisan solutions. The commissions established under the TRUST Actwould be charged with securing programs like Social Security, Medicare, and the highway fund so that they are stronger, more effective, and continue to be there for current and future generations. The bill wouldn’t force policymakers to agree, but it would force them to try to work together. That goal should have unanimous support.” –Maya MacGuineas, President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget


“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Addressing long-term federal budget shortfalls is going to take many bold actions by our political leaders and the problem is so big that it often seems unclear where even to start. Senators Romney, Manchin, Young, Jones, and Sinema, and Representatives Gallagher, Case, Timmons and McAdams have shown how Congress can take that first step and take it a long way in the right direction. Addressing the federal trust funds in a bipartisan manner is a promising way to make a down payment on long-term fiscal reform. ” –Bill Gale, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution


“The budget debate in Washington has hit an all-time low since President Trump took office, with Congressional Republicans passing a $2 trillion deficit-financed tax cut and some on the far left proposing tens of trillions of dollars in new spending without a plan to pay for it. The TRUST Act bucks this harmful trend and starts an important conversation about what tax increases and spending cuts will be needed to secure the future of Social Security and Medicare, as well as fund critical public investments in our nation’s ageing infrastructure. Congress must strengthen these and other important programs for Americans of all ages.” –Ben Ritz, Director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Funding America’s Future