Washington, D.C. – After the unveiling of legislative text for the Fiscal Responsibility Act, a bill to sensibly raise the debt ceiling, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) explained in the Wall Street Journal how this bill will slash unnecessary spending and push America into the right direction.
Wasteful Government Doesn’t Have to Keep Growing
Speaker Kevin McCarthy
Wall Street Journal
May 28, 2023
“In Washington, wasteful government spending almost always goes up because, as President Reagan observed, ‘When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill.’
“As a result, the growth of government and wasteful spending often seem inevitable. But the Fiscal Responsibility Act proves they are not.
“Last year, Republicans made a commonsense Commitment to America: entrust us with the majority and we will stop the out-of-control inflationary spending that is harming our country.
“The American people know that Democrats’ spending addiction caused significant problems, including record-high inflation that have broken family budgets. Meanwhile, rapid interest rate hikes in response to inflationary spending have caused three of the largest bank failures in history to occur in the past several months.
“All of this has made America more dependent on foreign debt holders. The total debt we now owe to other countries is $7.3 trillion. Countries like China are buying more of our farmland, more of our businesses, and more of our debt.
“Everyone knows the direction of our debt is unsustainable and irresponsible. But in order to change the direction of our debt, we need to change how Washington operates. That is what House Republicans have fought for since January 12, when I called on President Biden to negotiate a responsible debt limit increase.
“For 97 days, President Biden dragged his feet and instead promoted a Far-Left Democrat wish list that includes more reckless spending, more taxes, and more debt. Apparently, he thought he could ignore the national debt crisis like he ignores the crisis at the Southern border.
“But House Republicans never gave up. While President Biden ducked negotiations and Senate Democrats were missing in action, Republicans passed a bill that forced President Biden to the table and changed the paradigm.
“And with the introduction of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, we are changing the direction in Washington with a responsible debt limit increase that cuts spending, saves taxpayers money, and restores growth to the economy.
“Perhaps the most historic and foundational change is cutting spending year-over-year for the first time in over a decade.
“Taking aside veterans’ health care, which would be fully funded, we return to 2022 spending levels for non-defense accounts, and set topline spending at 1 percent growth for the next 6 years.
“In other words, we will spend less money next year than we did this year – stopping inflationary spending while fully funding our national defense, meeting our obligations to our veterans, and preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
“By comparison, no other debt limit increase in the past decade has accomplished these three things: reduces overall spending, reduces non-defense spending, and reduces the deficit. The Fiscal Responsibility Act is true, transformative spending reform.
“Another transformative change to how the government operates is the first-ever enactment of Administrative ‘Pay-Go’ rules, which require the Executive Branch to find dollar-for-dollar savings in the government for costly new rules and regulations.
“In the first two years of the Biden administration, the President unilaterally spent $1.5 trillion by executive fiat. With new Pay-Go rules in place, we will hold President Biden accountable, rein in executive overreach, and can save taxpayers trillions.
“We also cut unnecessary spending. For example, we slash $400 million from the CDC’s ‘Global Health Fund’ that was allocated during the pandemic and sent taxpayer money to countries like China. In all, we claw back tens of billions of dollars in unspent COVID funds, making this the largest spending rescission in American history.
“Meanwhile, we rejected President Biden’s demands for $5 trillion in new taxes, and instead eliminated funding that would be wasted this year to hire Biden’s new army of IRS agents. Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and government should exist to serve you, not go after you.
“We also unleash policies to grow the economy. For example, we add new work requirements for adults without dependents who receive money from SNAP and TANF welfare programs, which will support individuals to contribute to society, develop their talents, and lift themselves out of poverty into financial freedom and personal success. Another vital step towards growing the economy is streamlining the permitting process.
“Our agreement achieves the first significant reforms to the environmental review process in more than 40 years. It will allow us to build more infrastructure, produce more energy in America, better compete with China, and lower costs for American families.
“After two years in which Democrats created a culture of paying people not to work and attacking American energy production, these consequential reforms will turn our broken society into a productive society.
“All in all, the Fiscal Responsibility Act is truly worthy of the American people. It does what is responsible for our children, what is possible in divided government, and what is required by our principles and promises.
“Only because of Republicans’ resolve did we achieve this transformative change to how Washington operates. We are just 140 days into this Republican majority, and we’re just getting started.”