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Chairman Smith: Rising Interest Rates All the More Reason to Address Fiscal Sanity in Debt Limit Debate

February 03, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement after the Federal Reserve continued its interest rate increases at the fastest rate in 40 years – raising rates another 25 basis points, for a total of 4.5 percent, the eighth increase since March 2022 and cumulatively larger than the past 15 years combined:

“With the price of everyday goods and services already eating away at Americans’ paychecks, the rapid rise in interest rates – a painful consequence of the Democrats’ two-year inflationary spending spree – is making it that much harder for families to afford a home or for small businesses to grow and prosper. The fallout for American families from the skyrocketing cost of borrowing is just one of the many reasons the Ways and Means Committee is holding our first Full Committee field hearing in West Virginia on Monday.

“Higher rates are also adding to America’s fiscal crisis. Over the next ten years, we will spend over $8 trillion just to finance our debt. Federal spending on interest payments on the debt increased by $121 billion, a 29 percent increase, in 2022, more than we spend on housing and veterans’ benefits, and will be more than we spend on critical priorities such as national security in the long term.

“Democrats should join Republicans in doing the responsible thing and figure out how we can take common sense steps toward defusing the debt crisis fueled further by rising interest rates. Republicans have already made clear we will never default on the debt. The Federal Reserve is trying desperately to combat the inflation crisis. The best path forward is to include fiscal reforms that help put America’s fiscal house in order and bring down spending.”


  • Over the next ten years we will spend over $8 trillion just to finance our debt, according to CBO.
  • Interest payments on the nation’s debt are projected to triple by 2032, reaching $1.2 trillion annually.
  • In October and November 2022, interest payments were 87 percent higher than the year before.
  • After passing the largest debt limit increase in American history, it took Democrats a little over a year to max out the federal government’s credit card again.
  • In two years of Democrat one-party rule, spending has increased by $10 trillion, according to the congressional scorekeeper.

READ: One Pager: Democrats Pushing Country Towards Debt Crisis – Now It’s Time to Address Reckless Spending in a Bipartisan Way