Arrington Makes One Last Plea to Biden and Democrats: “Be Leaders Worthy of the Citizens of the United States”
Washington, April 26, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At the House Republican leadership press conference today, House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) urged President Biden to come to the negotiating table to raise the debt ceiling. Arrington highlighted the “Limit, Save, Grow Act,” Republicans’ plan to responsibly address the debt ceiling by reining-in and right-sizing the federal bureaucracy; saving taxpayer dollars by reversing some of Democrats’ reckless spending; and growing the economy by returning to pro-growth, pro-work, pro-energy policies that would unleash American prosperity once again. Click here to watch Arrington's full remarks.
Remarks as Delivered:
“Good morning, everybody. I'm Jodey Arrington. I'm from West Texas - the food, fuel, and fiber capital of the world.
I'm honored to serve as Budget Chairman, and I can summarize the fiscal state of the nation: it's bleak and the path forward is very, very uncertain.
Nobody can look at the balance sheet of our federal government or the nonpartisan CBO's budget outlook and not shudder at the rapid deterioration of our nation's financial health.
No responsible leader in this country worth their salt would look at our nation's indebtedness and its impact on the financial health of our country and our children's future and not do something about it.
What we're asking President Biden to do is to do what he did when he was Vice President, do what he did simply when he was in the Senate: come to the table and enact common-sense spending controls and fiscal reforms as we raise the debt ceiling, pay our bills, and protect the good faith and credit of the United States.
Folks in West Texas – and I imagine across the country – see that as pretty straightforward, especially as they suffer under the effects of the $10 trillion in spending over the last two years, 6 trillion added to the national debt, record inflation, soaring interest rates, and a nosedive into recession. That is the reality of the rest of America. And so they tighten their belts. And they're changing their spending habits. And by God, the people in this town – who represent this great nation who are responsible for funding this government – need to do the same.
I was at the Rules Committee hearing last night for six hours. It required all the stamina and patience I could muster. But I think there are a few things that are noteworthy that I would like to share with you. Number one, I didn't hear any of my Democrat colleagues challenging or pushing back on the substance of our debt ceiling proposal. I think it's that straightforward. I think it's that common sense - to right-size the bureaucracy coming out of COVID, go back to spending levels where they were just four months ago. Just four months ago!
Obama's last year of his budget had his spending at that level. So I think there's consensus that that is extremely reasonable. And then you have the list of reversing some of the reckless spending items, like the student loan cancellation and the army of IRS agents, but I didn't get any pushback last night, substantively, on what we have been presenting.
Secondly, I didn't hear a single Democrat offer up, in six hours, an alternative item of savings.
We're at one and a half trillion in annual deficits today. That's what we're borrowing. We'll be at 3 trillion in 10 years, we're at half a trillion dollars in interest payments, will triple that in 10 years and be paying one and a half trillion. And not one time – in six hours – of this conversation about how we right size, how we get on the right track that is sustainable and responsible. And not one alternative. Just a bunch of boogeymen, just a bunch of phantom funding cuts that they rolled out there. It was sad because it was a party that's lost its way and that has lurched so far to the left, they can't even come back to the common-sense Clinton-era work requirements for able-bodied adults. I saw them have a death grip on the blank check and the status quo and they will lose that fight. They will lose that fight with the American people. It's not about me, it's not about these guys. It's about the American people.
Lastly, this one - I get emotional about it. Because it's real, this is real. The most vulnerable group in America in my mind – and there are lots of vulnerable groups and we have to be responsible. And we have to prioritize. That's what this is about - prioritizing, but it's also about protecting the future as we prioritize, and our children's future. I think the most vulnerable group in America are the children that have no place in this town, no lobbyists to speak of that I know of, no seat around the table it feels like, and they're going to inherit $31 trillion in debt and counting. Who's going to speak up for them? This is what they will inherit. And somebody's got to speak up, but in six hours, and I close with this: in six hours, I heard a lot of stakeholders in government programs and government funding, I heard a lot of groups and communities. I never once, and I said this at the hearing, if you listen to the six hour tape, not one time did my Democrat colleagues mention the children and grandchildren of the people here, the future generation of Americans who will inherit the whirlwind.
Because of the seeds that were sown of reckless spending and an insatiable appetite to spend this country in bankruptcy. So I'm going to support this Limit, Save, Grow, obviously. And it's a responsible thing to do. It's the right thing to do. And I pray to God that we'll get our President to come to the table and be a leader worthy of the citizens of the United States of America.”