Op-ed: Debt-ceiling budget deal is bad for the President Trump, bad for country: Freedom Caucus

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Washington, July 25, 2019 | comments

Debt-ceiling budget deal is bad for the President Trump, bad for country: Freedom Caucus

Mark Meadows, Jody Hice, Warren Davidson, and House Freedom Caucus Board - Opinion contributors

Published 1:59 p.m. ET July 25, 2019 | Updated 2:01 p.m. ET July 25, 2019

It is not compassionate to bankrupt America. Unfortunately with the potential passage of the new budget deal, that is the path our country is on.

Any average American family knows: when you spend money on a credit card, you eventually pay the money back. When your credit gets close to a limit, you don’t respond by raising the limit and spending more — you make a concerted effort to bring your debt down, making tough budgetary decisions to avoid severe financial problems down the road.

You would think the same decisions forced on American families could be demanded of Congress and the U.S. government. It is not compassionate to bankrupt America. Unfortunately, that is the path our country is on.

When Congress instituted the debt ceiling, it attempted to provide legislative control of how much money the federal government may borrow. For the Treasury to go past its credit limit, it would have to go through Congress. The policy was designed to set an impediment against out-of-control Washington spending — capping spending at best, or forcing Congress to reckon with reckless budgetary habits at worst.

But so often in Washington, D.C., rules aren’t treated as rules. They’re regarded as inconveniences; small speed-bumps along the status-quo path of a system that brushes aside promises, benefits politicians, and enriches political insiders — all at the expense of hardworking moms and dads on Main Street.

The bill is deeply flawed

So it is with the reported imminent budget caps deal. To Congress, the credit limit isn’t a real limit — it’s a minor obstacle that government insiders can quietly agree to work around. Worse yet, the deal proposed almost ensures that the debt ceiling agreed to will be insufficient for the spending that is part of the deal. Of course, America must agree to pay for money it has already committed to spend, but the point of the debt ceiling isn’t to debate whether or not America should default on its debt. The point is to force spending reforms so that default never occurs.

The flawed budget deal on the table, expected to come up for a vote in the House Thursday, increases the debt limit through July 31, 2021 — a two-year extension — raises spending by $320 billion with a mere $75 billion in offsets, about half of the $150 billion in spending cuts conservatives sought in negotiations.The new spending levels combined with limited cuts are expected to push the annual budget deficit to a monstrous $1 trillion next year. This deal does not help towards balancing the budget — it actually puts us further behind in meeting that necessary goal.

With the national debt rapidly approaching an astonishing $23 trillion, it’s obvious what Congress should be focused on. We should be working around the clock, canceling Congressional recess if necessary, to hammer out a budget agreement that responsibly cuts spending and sets the country on a track to fiscal solvency.

It is true that bipartisan spending cuts are hard to come by. Unfortunately, the bipartisan path to bankrupting America has proven more politically expedient — again. While cutting spending would be the best path forward, it’s important to acknowledge that conservatives have not demanded spending reductions or bust in these negotiations. All we ask is to stick to the existing spending limits. If we can’t agree on significant spending cuts, at least we should agree to hold to the existing limits and avoid turning a dire situation into a potentially fatal one.

This is a bad deal for the president. It’s a bad deal for conservatives. Most importantly, it’s a bad deal for the forgotten men and women who voted to shake up Washington, D.C. when they sent President Trump to the White House. This is not draining the swamp — it’s feeding the swamp and entrenching the status quo.

Every single party involved in these negotiations should immediately go back to the drawing board and negotiate a better deal for working families and the country. We should come together, find bipartisan ways to cut spending, balance our budget and get our crumbling fiscal house on a sustainable foundation for the future. At the bare minimum, we should freeze spending and prevent America’s budget deficits from skyrocketing further out of control — bankrupting our children and grandchildren.

Republican Representatives Mark Meadows, Jody Hice and Warren Davidson are members of the House Freedom Caucus Board. Follow them on Twitter: @RepMarkMeadows @CongressmanHice and @WarrenDavidson

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/07/25/new-budget-deal-debt-ceiling-vote-donald-trump-2019-column/1826348001/
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