Freshman Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX-21) has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) requesting that she present a budget plan that does not break through the spending caps enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011. That deal raised the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, but put into place hard caps on discretionary spending that led to reduced annual deficits for several years.
The letter includes signatures from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and a bevy of Texas congressmen including Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), Ron Wright (R-TX-06), Van Taylor (R-TX-03), Lance Gooden (R-TX-05), Randy Weber (R-TX-14), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), and Brian Babin (R-TX-36).
The letter states that surpassing $22 trillion in debt and adding $100 million every hour is “unconscionable” and “must end.”
At current spending levels, Roy says that “spending on interest alone will surpass defense spending in 5 years.”
President Trump’s proposed budget for Fiscal-Year 2019 suggested $686 billion in funding for the Department of Defense. The budget also called for cuts to programs like the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
As of this writing, the national debt stands at almost $22.3 trillion. The total interest paid on the debt is over $3.1 trillion. Debt per citizen has nearly eclipsed $68,000 — approaching double the average student loan debt.
Roy and his colleagues added to their concern over the growing national debt by saying, “to those saying our entire problem is mandatory spending, Medicare is slated to run out of funds by 2026 and Social Security is slated to run out of funds by 2035.”
The letter emphasizes that “current law is on our side to restrain spending.”
The letter concludes with an appeal for Congress to make tough decisions on how to spend taxpayer money responsibly and to “budget like American families do every day.”
When Republicans controlled both the U.S. House and Senate during the last Congress, the GOP enacted a deal with Democrat support that broke the existing caps by over $300 billion for both defense and non-defense discretionary spending.
Thus far, congressional Democrats have failed to pass a budget since taking control of the House last November. This may be due to pressure from the party’s progressive wing to support policies like the “Green New Deal” and “Medicare for All,” both of which come with hefty price tags estimated to cost in the tens of trillions of dollars.
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Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.