A House Freedom Caucus member is working to help Congress and America realize the urgency of the country’s national debt, which hit $22 trillion last month.
“Our tremendous national debt, our annual structural deficit, is really … an existential threat to the United States of America,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said on the third installment of the House Freedom Caucus’ new podcast, which will be released Thursday.
“We have to address it in Congress and in my opinion, we spend so much time on other bills that we don’t get to the nub of our real crisis,” Biggs added on the podcast, which is hosted by Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga.
Biggs said his resolution, which was introduced Feb. 26, is meant to recognize the severity of the national debt.
Specifically, the resolution calls for a focus on the debt and says that the national debt is a threat to the United States’ national security. It also advocates changing how Congress budgets.
“First of all, you have to elevate the discourse to see change in society and this would elevate the discourse,” Biggs said.
The Arizona lawmaker also said he hopes his resolution will restore regular order in Congress.
In the congressional tradition known as regular order, the House Appropriations Committee passes 12 spending bills covering different aspects of government from transportation and social services to foreign policy and defense. Then the full House does the same, and the Senate follows suit. Finally, the president signs the 12 appropriations bills into law.
Congress hasn’t followed this process for more than 20 years, as The Daily Signal previously reported.
“We’re supposed to pass 12 bills that appropriate our money or spend our money and we would have full debate on it,” Biggs said. “We would have amendments come from the floor, we would start acting again like a legislative body.”
Hice, who is a co-sponsor of the resolution, says it’s time that Congress have to adhere to a budget the same way most American families have to.
“All families in America have to balance their own budget they have,” Hice said. “But that’s just not the case up here in Washington.”
To help streamline the process, Biggs said he would do away with the budget committee.
“The American people, I think, would love their representatives in Congress to be open and transparent and to balance a budget,” Biggs said, adding:
That’s why my resolution’s out there, is to try to get our leaders to restore the method we’re supposed to, where we actually have committee hearings. You have 12 bills, you get them done on time, you allow people like you and me and anybody else that wants to go down to offer amendments either to reduce spending, save a program, whatever it is—it’s what they think is important to their constituency, and for this country, … and you have that debate on the floor.
Until you start doing that, we’re not going to ever change.
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