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Chairman Smith Floor Remarks: Limit, Save, Grow Act

April 26, 2023

As prepared for delivery.

“Thank you, Mr./Madame Speaker.


“Today’s fiscal crisis threatens all Americans.


“We are here today to debate legislation that accomplishes so much of what the American people want. Specifically, it begins to get Washington’s spending habit under control; it starts to slow the flow of special interest handouts to the wealthy and well-connected; and it throws much-needed water on the fire of inflation burning through the wallets of American families.


“Unlike the Inflation Reduction Act, the Limit, Save, Grow Act under consideration today actually does what it says it does.


“It puts real limits on future spending so that we begin to turn the ship back in a more fiscally sound direction.


“It saves taxpayer dollars by clawing back unobligated pandemic spending, a sensible solution given the fact the President himself has declared the pandemic over.


“It saves taxpayer dollars by ending welfare for the wealthy and loopholes for big corporations in the Inflation Reduction Act. 90 percent of these special interest green tax breaks go to companies with over $1 billion in sales; financial institutions alone pocket three times as much as any other industry; and these tax dollars are being funneled to China, enriching the Chinese Communist Party and allowing it to dominate critical mineral supply chains. I know my friends on the other side share in frustration in how that law has ended up so different than what they thought they were voting for.


“In this bill we propose pro-worker, pro-small business policies like work requirements in our welfare programs that will not only support a more vibrant economy but also help more Americans realize the dignity of work.


“This plan will also take the target off the backs of low- and middle-income taxpayers under threat from a supercharged army of 87,000 at the IRS. The Biden Administration brags about the $400 billion in revenues they plan to bring in by unleashing these new Agents. To do that, audit rates will have to go up on low- and middle-income Americans. In fact, under the so-called historical audit rate the Administration says it will adhere to, we will see a million new audits with 650,000 of them falling on folks making $75,000 or less.


“I find it curious to hear my Democrat colleagues and the President say they will not negotiate on spending when it comes to the debt ceiling, while at the same time complaining there’s no plan over which to negotiate. Well, here you go. Republicans have a plan.


“It is time for the President to negotiate over spending reforms as part of addressing the debt ceiling, just as we have done many times before. In fact, just as the President himself has done many times before.


“Eleven of the previous debt ceiling increases going back decades have included fiscal reforms. President Biden voted for such agreements as a senator and he negotiated them as Vice President. The President’s current position of refusing to discuss common-sense spending restraints when it comes to the debt ceiling is a reckless abandonment of past precedent and his own history.


“Under one-party Democrat rule, we got $10 trillion in new spending. The consequences have been real. Since President Biden took office, we’ve seen a 14.9 percent spike in prices, real wages decline by 3.5 percent, and interest rates increase more than in the previous 15 years combined. The American people are demanding something be done about all of that.


“Let’s pass this legislation and put the interests of workers, families, farmers, and small businesses first and foremost. Let’s do as Congress has done before and address the debt ceiling with policies that also address the Washington spending habits that got us here.


“I reserve the balance of my time.”