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REP. JASON SMITH: Dems Put America On A Dangerous Path. Now, House Republicans Must Turn Things Around

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Rep. Jason Smith Contributor
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Two years ago, Democrats began their one-party rule of Washington by passing a massive $2 trillion bill which led to the highest spike in prices in 40 years. That inflation crisis has now stolen nearly two months’ worth of pay from every working American since Joe Biden took the oath of office.

With merely days left before Christmas, Democrats capped off their reign by spending yet another $2 trillion in a bill spread across 4,155 pages no lawmaker had a real chance to read. (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Mitch McConnell Transformed The Senate GOP Into A Wishing Well For Democrats)

This explosion in spending and growth of government did not happen by coincidence. For the last 10 years, up until President Biden took office, Congress had capped annual discretionary spending increases by an average of 2% per year. That law was the outcome of a bipartisan negotiation over increasing the nation’s debt limit.

Since that law’s expiration, spending has increased by a combined 16% over the last two years.

It is no secret that Congress likes to spend money — too much, in fact. Our nation is, buried under $31 trillion in debt. The debt limit is one of the only tools that forces Congress to, at the very least, talk about its spending addiction. Over the years, it has also forced both parties in Congress to come together and look at how we might rein in out-of-control spending.

Today, as we look back on the last two years, we can see the damage caused by a Congress that spends without guardrails. Since President Biden was sworn in, federal government spending has increased by $10 trillion.

Biden has added more spending and consequently more debt than any other president in U.S. history in his first 23 months in office. It began with the $2 trillion “American Rescue Plan” which undercut America’s economic recovery and sidelined millions of workers; includes the $745 billion so called “Inflation Reduction Act” that is packed with billions in green welfare programs for the wealthy, and the $1 trillion the president has enacted all on his own through executive actions.

There’s even $2.5 trillion in increased interest payments on America’s debt that has grown ever bigger under one-party Democrat rule in Washington.

The latest spending bill, introduced in the middle of the night and passed three days later, is particularly egregious given it was jammed through just days before a Republican majority will gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. That Republican majority was elected by the American people to halt the reckless spending that has been the hallmark of the past two years. (RELATED: REP. BOB GOOD: Weak And Compromised Republicans Have Unleashed A Spending Monstrosity)

It was elected because under one-party Democrat rule, massive increases in government spending has created the highest inflation in forty years, up 14.3% since Biden took office. In response, the Federal Reserve has had to raise interest rates seven times since March — to a rate of 4.25%, the fastest pace of increases in 40 years, the largest combined increase in 15 years, and a major reason why families can no longer afford to buy a house or pay off their credit card debt.

The American people voted for a new Republican majority to put a stop to the reckless spending and get our fiscal house in order. They expect us to use every tool at our disposal — including the debt limit — to force changes to spending, get our border under control, and reignite American energy production.

Despite Democrat handwringing and fearmongering, increases in the nation’s debt limit have historically been coupled with other policies that reduce future spending. In addition to the aforementioned spending caps, there was a debt limit increase in 2010 that included a Democrat policy known as “Pay-As-You-Go.”

It requires Congress to find offsets when it increases the deficit. Unfortunately, without a Republican majority to hold them in check, Democrats in their most recent spending bill, instead of offsetting their spending through cuts, decided to waive that law and add an additional $260 billion to the nation’s debt.

In the coming year, Congress will once again be faced with how to address an increase in the nation’s debt limit. A new Republican majority in the House must use a discussion around increasing the debt limit to address one or more of the crises brought on by the Biden administration — like the inflation crisis that is due to reckless spending, a border crisis that is due to pure negligence on the part of the Biden administration, or America’s needlessly growing dependence on foreign sources of energy spurred by Democrats’ hostility to American-made energy.

Our debt crisis is growing increasingly out of control in part because Democrats spent their time over the past two years ramming trillions in new spending through Congress to fund a radical agenda marked by handouts to the wealthy environmentalists, billions spent on policies to keep people at home and dependent on government and massive slush funds to state and local governments to fund a wish list of pet projects.

Last week’s massive end-of-the-year spending bill — which increased spending by 9% on top of the 7% increase over the year prior — was the latest and hopefully the last. (RELATED: ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI: Earmarks Are Back With A Vengeance In Congress’ Spending Bill)

With Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives, we will work to bring reckless spending to an end and use opportunities like a debate over the next debt limit increase to address the various crises born under one-party Democrat rule in Washington.

Jason Smith is the representative for Missouri’s 8th Congressional District. He also is the Republican leader of the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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