Big Tent Ideas

REP. ANDY BIGGS: Raise The Debt Ceiling Again? Here’s A Better Idea

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Rep. Andy Biggs Arizona Congressman
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President Joe Biden wants to raise the national debt by more than $3 trillion over the next two years. He wants future generations to pay for his wild spending spree. He doesn’t want to slow down spending, reduce out-of-control spending by the federal government, or find the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted every year by the federal bureaucracy. He doesn’t want accountability or reforms.

I have never voted to raise the “debt ceiling.” I have never acquiesced in the regular attack on America’s families and businesses. I have never agreed to increase our “credit card limit,” because the D.C. cartel refuses to allow rational changes that would actually bend the federal government’s spending curve toward a balanced budget.

But, what if instead of making a “grand bargain” to massively increase the national debt every couple of years, without much oversight or tightening of our fiscal belts, we imposed accountability and alterations on the drunkards who manage D.C. spending?

For instance, Congress should consider a three-to-six-month management plan to lift the debt ceiling that would include clawing back hundreds of billions of dollars that have been appropriated but are unspent.

These rescissions could include $100 billion of COVID relief money that has not been spent. COVID is over. Bring that money back. (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Here Are Some Shining Examples Of Pure Dem Insanity)

We could stop borrowing money to send to foreign lands.

The House has already eliminated the $80 billion that would double the size of the IRS. How about stopping the hundreds of millions of dollars being given to the FBI—the same rogues who have been surveilling and working with Big Tech to censor Americans—to build a brand new palace from which to abuse the people?

The objective would be to find $200 billion in rescissions. You will hear establishment D.C. say that it is impossible, but in a budget of more than $6 trillion, including the crazy spending of the recent omnibus package, and faux-infrastructure deal, there is certainly more than $200 billion that we can claw back.

We also insist that there be permanent spending reductions—cuts—of $200 billion as part of a debt management plan. Eliminate funding to NGO’s federally sponsored attorneys for illegal aliens. Completely eliminate the myriad of woke programs that the Biden team is trying to embed into the agencies and departments of the federal government.

A sizable reduction in federal spending would occur simply by attacking the CRT, DEI, and woke ambitions of across the federal government. And why are there dozens of police departments at the federal level?

There are other meaningful reforms that would reduce federal spending and minimize the need to simply raise the debt ceiling. The federal food stamp program has increased from $48 billion per year in 2008, to $153 billion last year. Able-bodied individuals should be in the workforce to qualify for food stamps. Additionally, measures to cut down on fraud in the program, such as Maine’s inclusion of the food stamp recipient’s photo on EBT cards, should be considered.

Policy changes such as taking away the abusive bureaucratic regulatory authority from federal agencies will save money and benefit the economy.

Policies that ensure that there will not be a default of payments of our federal debts and bills, as well as to prevent government shutdowns, will have a salutary effect on the federal budgeting process.

The Congressional Budget Office provides a list of the vast number of federal departments, agencies, and programs that are no longer authorized. Yet somehow Congress continues to fund these without question. We should immediately review them and determine whether they are necessary. If so, we should conduct a line-by-line review of each of their expenditures and eliminate or reduce the spending.

Before we give some kind of carte blanche to the Biden team to impose another $3-4 trillion of national debt we must manage our debt. After we have taken the steps we have outlined, we will have a better idea of whether we even need to raise the debt ceiling.

And, if we have clawed back unspent or wasteful federal dollars, made meaningful reductions in the massive federal budget, cleaned up our balance sheet, and made consequential policy changes that will transform the federal government, then we will be in a better economic place.

But that will be because we will have put the nation back on the path to fiscal responsibility, and because a short-term package will include accountability. And we can then hold the big-spending Biden team in check.

Republican Andy Biggs represents Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Accountability Committees.

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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