Washington, D.C. – As President Biden continues to ignore years of precedent during which he previously supported negotiations over the inclusion of spending reforms to address America’s fiscal crisis as part of raising the debt limit, Republicans are taking action with the Limit, Save, Grow Act. As Republicans take up the common sense legislation this week, House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) issued the following statement in support:
“Republicans are acting on the American people’s call to rein in spending and to address our fiscal crisis with policies that will not only confront the debt ceiling, but will also help lift more Americans out of poverty and restore America’s workforce to pre-pandemic levels through common sense work requirements, end an agenda of welfare for the wealthy and big corporations, and take the target off the backs of low- and middle-income taxpayers under threat from a supercharged army of IRS auditors. It’s time the President negotiate with Congress over spending reforms as part of the debt ceiling, just as we have done many times before – including when President Biden voted for such agreements as a Senator and when 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 shows reckless disregard for past precedent and his own history.”
“I have never voted for a debt limit in my entire time in the United States Congress. I’m voting for this package…We’ll save $4.5 trillion and that’s what the American people are asking for. And we will pass this legislation and hopefully President Biden will decide to start negotiating instead of continuing with his reckless activity.”
- Chairman Smith wrote in a CNBC op-ed: “Debt ceiling negotiations are something Democrats – and even then-Senator Biden – have agreed to multiple times in our nation’s history. Deficit reduction policies have often been tied to debt limit negotiations. In fact, the last 11 spending reduction reforms enacted by Congress were bipartisan and attached to legislation that raised the debt ceiling. As a senator, Biden voted for such reforms in 1985, 1987, 1993, and 1997, and helped negotiate spending constraints in 2009 and 2011, when he was vice president.“Opponents of such negotiations like to point to the 2011 U.S. credit downgrade by rating agency Standard & Poor (S&P) as the reason negotiations are dangerous. Yet, that rating downgrade occurred because, according to S&P, ‘political brinksmanship’ prevented Congress and the White House from providing a credible plan to solve the nation’s long-term debt problem. In other words, it was not a discussion of fiscal responsibility, but a lack of fiscal responsibility that led to a credit downgrade.”
- Ways and Means Republicans took action in March to protect America’s credit and seniors while prioritizing America’s military, families, and national security with the Default Prevention Act, which allows additional borrowing to pay the principal and interest on the public debt as well as Medicare and Social Security benefits.