The so-called deal to raise the debt limit reached by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy fails to address America’s addiction to out-of-control spending.
At a time when we’re staring down the barrel of a once-unthinkable $32 trillion national debt, our leaders are attempting to pull another fast one on the very people that they’re supposed to be fighting for. Exactly no one in Washington was elected to abdicate responsibility by putting off difficult decisions for another day, but this proposal does exactly that.
Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie’s vote in the Rules Committee to advance the measure to the House floor in the end will turn out to be a consequential mistake. Massie supplied the critical 7th vote for the deal because the package includes language he pushed that is supposed to make it more difficult for members of Congress to abuse the spending process if they don’t pass appropriations bills on time again. Massie’s idea is well-intentioned, but the idea that the Washington uni-party won’t find a loophole is naive.
Recent polling indicates loudly and clearly that the American people support a plan that raises the debt limit only if legitimate spending cuts happen simultaneously. Republicans in the House of Representatives had President Biden on the defensive with a common sense conservative message that proved impossible for the White House to defeat.
The one-two punch of fiscal responsibility and a return to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic was resonating deeply and after months of refusing to negotiate, Biden finally realized that he had to come to the table or get blamed for a default.
Hardworking taxpayers understand that it’s irresponsible to keep spending $2 trillion more annually than we did before the pandemic began.
In April, the House GOP passed a reasonable bill that dealt with our national debt crisis with the urgency it deserves. It acknowledged that Washington has a spending problem and that the broken status quo is no longer acceptable. The Limit Save Grow Act made tangible spending cuts — no phony smoke and mirror cuts — and put in place real work requirements for welfare recipients.
Changing the way Washington does business is what’s required to change our current trajectory of fiscal doom, no more no less. Congressional Republicans answered the call at a time when career politicians on the left were caught with their hands in the cookie jar yet again.
The Republican-passed bill rightly clawed back unspent COVID money, dismantled the unfair student loan giveaway, cut the $80 billion that Joe Biden wants for more IRS agents, and allowed for a debt limit increase only until March 2024 — so voters get another say in future federal spending decisions during the heat of next year’s presidential campaign.
The negotiated Biden-McCarthy swampy agreement on the other hand smacks of your typical backroom Washington deal that amounts to more of the same. And when you consider how dire our fiscal situation is, it completely fails to rise to the occasion. Any family who racks up a sizable amount of debt would sit down and actually fix the problem — not kick the can down the road again. The American people are sick and tired of tone-deaf politicians in D.C.
The first problem with this deal is that it punts the next national debt debate until after the presidential election in January 2025. This makes absolutely no sense.
Republicans must make federal spending an issue during the 2024 presidential campaign and this flawed agreement would take the issue off the table. Why any Republican would support a bill that saddles the incoming Republican president with this steaming pile immediately upon taking office is beyond comprehension.
The Biden-McCarthy bill also makes a mockery of what most people consider meaningful spending cuts and only claws back a small percentage of unspent COVID funds. The fact that this legislation fails to get back every cent of the funds that were intended to combat COVID-19 should tell you all you need to know about the wisdom of the proposal.
Furthermore, Speaker McCarthy’s negotiators Reps. Patrick McHenry and Garrett Graves also caved in to the White House on their unconstitutional student loan program, their Inflation Reduction Act heist, and their new battalion of new IRS agents. When it comes to the concept of actual fiscal reform, adding $4 trillion to our national debt in return for little in the way of spending cuts simply doesn’t pass the smell test and ought to be rejected.
Even in this hyper-partisan atmosphere, Americans of all stripes agree — 79% of Republicans, 58% of independents, and 45% of Democrats – that real spending cuts in exchange for a debt ceiling increase are in order. So, it’s difficult to understand why the McCarthy team failed to demand more at a moment when they clearly had the American people on their side.
The good news is that it’s not a done deal. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen changed the default date once, so she’ll do it again if necessary.
So, there’s still some time to send the negotiators back to the table so that they can give Americans something that moves the needle in the right direction on our national debt for a change.
Let’s get this right. For once.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, a Fox News contributor, the 2016 deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump for President, and the former chief investigator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight during the Clinton administration. He is the co-author with Corey Lewandowski of “Trump: America First: The President Succeeds Against All Odds,” along with “Let Trump Be Trump” and “Trump’s Enemies.”