Much Talk but No Action on $22 Trillion Debt –
by Stuart MacPhail April 2019
In early March Utah Congressman Ben McAdams testified before the House Budget Committee, warning that interest on America’s $22 trillion debt has become the fastest growing part of the federal budget, saying both parties must work to lower deficits.
McAdams, a member of the House Blue Dog Coalition, said “Congress has a bipartisan problem when it comes to running up deficits and debt. It is past time to put our fiscal house in order and commit to making tough choices to reverse this ocean of red ink.” He told the committee that every man, woman, and child in America owes $67,000 as a share of the national debt.
McAdams has sponsored a “No Budget, No Pay” bill that says if Congress fails to do its job passing a budget and funding the government by October 1st, members won’t get paid.
Like so many other members of Congress, McAdams says he also plans to introduce a balanced budget amendment “to put structure in place to enforce fiscal discipline”.
As they have done a number of times, US Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Lee of Utah have introduced a proposed constitutional amendment that would require the federal government to operate under a balanced budget (SJR5).
Meanwhile Congressional Republicans introduced a resolution (HJR149 which has 37 sponsors) declaring the nation’s debt is a security threat. “We introduced this resolution because the United States is racing towards a fiscal cliff,” said Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs. He is the same Andy Biggs who for years (as President of the Arizona Senate) aggressively blocked use of Article V to address the problem.
Will Congress actually take steps to rein-in spending and reduce the national debt? Don’t count on it. Without use of Article V by state legislatures, it will never happen.