Conservatives Win in The Debt Ceiling Fight
Washington, June 5, 2023
For nearly 100 days, President Biden refused to even talk to Republicans about lifting the debt ceiling. Both publicly and privately, he demanded a “clean” increase to our national debt limit, rejecting even a conversation about spending cuts or reforms. Fortunately, President Biden relented and America won.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act, which passed in the House and the Senate on a bipartisan basis, was only possible because House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act that demonstrated our commitment to reform safety net programs and cut out-of-control government spending. We brought President Biden to the table and negotiated a deal with an incredible number of common-sense conservative wins, in spite of the fact that House Republicans only control one half of one third of the legislative process. We did this by showing that the majority of Americans are on our side. Sixty percent of Americans agree – Congress should raise the debt ceiling only if spending cuts are included in the deal.
That’s why we were able to negotiate the most significant deficit reduction in a decade, actually reducing how much the government spends from one year to the next. This legislation reduces federal deficit spending by $2.1 trillion over the next six years. We made critical reforms to a number of welfare programs and regulations, and got President Joe Biden to agree to no new taxes. We clawed back the most taxpayer dollars ever, including billions of dollars in unspent COVID-19 funds. We expanded work requirements for government assistance in order to lift more Americans out of poverty and bring able-bodied Americans back into the workforce. We ensured that President Biden can’t continue pausing student loan repayments or follow through on his plans to hire an army of new IRS enforcement agents this year.
We cut red tape in order to speed up federal permitting regulations for the first time in 40 years so that America can reclaim our energy independence and more quickly build needed infrastructure like roads, bridges, and pipelines, including projects like the Brent Spence Bridge in Southwest Ohio.
The alternatives were dire: either defaulting on our debt, risking severe economic consequences, or accepting Biden’s plan for a “clean” debt increase with no reforms to our nation’s spending addiction. Every single spending cut and reform in this bill was passed over President Biden’s objections. If I thought voting “no” would have gotten us an even better deal, I would have. The truth is that defeating this deal would have put President Biden and his negotiators back in the driver’s seat towards more spending and greater inflation. I’m quite certain we wouldn’t have achieved any reforms to welfare, spending cuts, or the conservative wins that we did with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
This is divided government. House Republicans control only one-sixth of government spending decisions. This is just our first step to get our country back onto the path of fiscal responsibility. House Republicans have had less than 150 days in the majority. We reigned in trillions in spending while there is a Democrat in the White House and Democrats control the Senate.
We have laid a fiscally responsible, bipartisan foundation with the passage of this bill. Our next step to bring our fiscal house in order will be this year’s upcoming appropriations process where we will continue to cut wasteful spending even further. These first 100 days have been a powerful example of what House Republicans can accomplish when we work together advancing conservative values and commonsense fiscal policy. Our challenge continues for less government over-spending, a lower national debt, and a brighter future for our children and their children.