As Congress prepares to spar over rising national debt levels, Republican lawmakers asked leadership from both parties to cut spending.
Two years ago, Congress suspended the debt ceiling — a measure that bars the United States from amassing a certain level of national debt — until July 31, 2021. In a July 21 letter, Republican lawmakers drew the attention of Congressional leadership — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — to shortcomings in the United States’ fiscal policy revealed by the looming end of the suspension.
The letter reads:
With record amounts of government spending over the past two years accompanied by historic levels of inflation, in addition to the dramatically changed fiscal conditions of the country over the past five decades, it is imperative for Congress to take meaningful steps now to place our country’s finances on a more sustainable and appropriate path. The upcoming expiration of the debt limit suspension provides an opportunity for Congress to do just that and instill some responsible and real controls over government spending.
The lawmakers noted that the federal government is slated to spend $6.8 trillion in 2021 and $63.4 trillion between 2022 and 2031. The projections do not include Congressional Democrats’ policy agenda, which calls for a $3.5 trillion spending package and “potentially trillions of dollars more.”
The letter pointed to government expenditures as a source of rising price levels:
Unchecked government spending is increasing inflation across the economy and harming American families — especially those on low and fixed incomes. Americans are already experiencing rising costs for basic goods and necessities such as food, clothing, medicine, and gasoline. Inflation this year is on track to be the highest since 1981. Rising inflation combined with out-of-control government spending only exacerbates the nation’s unsustainable fiscal trajectory.
To control federal budget deficits, the lawmakers recommended spending-to-GDP targets, debt-to-GDP targets, discretionary spending limits modeled on the Budget Control Act of 2011, and a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.
As The Daily Wire reported last week, Fitch Ratings — which is one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies on Wall Street alongside Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s — issued a “Negative Outlook” on the United States’ creditworthiness due to rising levels of debt.
Though the nation retained its “AAA” rating, Fitch noted that the outlook “reflects ongoing risks to the public finances and debt trajectory, notwithstanding the improvement in Fitch’s fiscal and debt projections since its last review.”