September 25, 2021

Democrats Refuse to Shift Focus to Debt Limit, Push Ahead with Socialist Tax & Spending Spree

During today’s mark-up of the Democrats’ multi-trillion-dollar tax and spending spree, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08) offered Committee Democrats an opportunity to temporarily postpone the markup until Monday, September 27th so that the majority would have time to draft an amendment to their Fiscal Year 2022 budget resolution to allow for Democrats to raise the debt limit through reconciliation. This follows a letter sent yesterday by Smith to House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (KY-03) calling on Democrats to use today’s mark-up to amend their Fiscal Year 2022 budget resolution to address the debt limit.

Budget Committee Democrats unanimously opposed the motion to postpone, voting to further delay action on the debt limit while they push ahead with their socialist tax and spend agenda.

House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith delivered the following remarks during debate on the motion to postpone – as prepared for delivery:

“Yesterday, I sent a letter noting that since we were convening here today, a good use of our time would be to amend the budget address the debt limit. Since I do not see an amended budget on the agenda today, I am moving to postpone this markup to Monday, September 27, so that your staff has time to prepare the necessary revisions that will allow the majority to properly address this issue. If this committee wants to meet Monday to take care of that, we are happy to waive the 72-hour notice.

“As a reminder, back on August 1st, our nation’s debt limit suspension expired. Since then, the Treasury Department has resorted to using extraordinary measures to meet our financial obligations. By mid-to-late October, Treasury is projected to exhaust all extraordinary measures at their disposal.

“My colleagues on the other side have spent weeks drafting this 2,400-page bill before us today along purely partisan lines, with zero input from Republicans. They have pursued this massive tax and spending package with no interest in bipartisanship – but now they claim Republicans should help build them the runway to land their reckless spending agenda. Republicans have been clear; we will not be complicit in it. Thus, the responsibility to raise the debt limit falls entirely on the Democrats.

“That is why this committee, and those in the majority in particular, have a responsibility to consider an amended budget resolution for fiscal year 2022 that includes reconciliation instructions to increase the debt limit through reconciliation. The Democrats, as the majority party, have the votes, the time, and all the necessary tools to address the debt limit. We should be using this time today to expedite that process.

“Senate Minority Leader McConnell on the floor this week outlined the steps Democrats need to take to revise the budget and address the debt limit that includes an abbreviated vote-a-rama and debate process, which would take a week or perhaps a little longer. Even Chairman Yarmuth has previously acknowledged that the reconciliation process can be used to increase the debt limit.

“Ever since 1985, Congress has often tied deficit reduction policies and reforms to legislation that increased the debt limit.

“For example, we have enacted policies that establish statutory limits on discretionary spending and a mandatory spending sequester to offset increases to the debt limit. Back in 2010, Congress enacted the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act in exchange for a debt limit increase. And just a couple of months ago, every member of this committee in the minority sent a letter to Congressional leaders laying out over half a dozen fiscal controls and spending options for them to consider during the upcoming debt limit debate.

“The fact is, the history of the debt limit shows that this is not a tool used to enact more spending, but rather, a way to control Congress’s appetite for deficit spending.

“However, that’s not the case with what the current Democrat majority has in mind. They are focused entirely on their $3.5 trillion tax and spending plan – the most expensive piece of legislation in our nation’s history and which includes the largest tax increase ever. In fact, it is five times America’s annual defense budget, and more than the GDP of Canada and Mexico combined.

“Our country will have to go further into debt in order to cover the spending in this reconciliation bill. It is only fair that Democrats, as the majority party, stop with the brinksmanship, take a step back from their tax and spending spree, and get to work on raising the debt limit by revising the budget resolution during this markup.”