TULSA, Okla. — Eastern Oklahoma Congressman Josh Brecheen (R) said the upcoming debt ceiling debate in Congress will be the first time the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives shows America conservatives are serious about getting the national debt under control.
Brecheen who initially voted against giving Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) the speakership said one of the main reasons he switched his vote to approve McCarthy for the speakership were guarantees about Federal spending including making this upcoming vote on raising the debt ceiling count.
“If people really understand the financial situation we’re in, we have got to start getting financially healthy as a nation, or we will go the way of history,” Brecheen said.
One of Brecheen and fiscal Republicans main points is that America has finally reached a point where large chunks of money the Federal government is getting in revenue from taxes will go towards debt service. It is the Federal government’s equivalent of interest on the credit card.
“No one is going to be able to spend money on anything we want to spend money on in twenty eight years because half of the Federal budget will be spent just on debt service,” he said.
Brecheen said the House will return to regular appropriations bills to fund each department as needed, and in one of the agreements made to get Brecheen and other’s votes for McCarthy to be speaker is a promise that any continuing resolutions would have an automatic two percent cut in Federal spending tied to it.
“We’re going to start doing this right again,” he said.
One guarantee McCarthy made, that fiscal conservatives say will allow for the stoppage of earmarks and special projects from gobbling up millions of dollars, is the return of floor amendments that can be offered by any member of the House.
“For the last six years, Democrats and Republicans delegated their power away to the House Rules Committee who did not allow for floor amendments,” Brecheen said. “That empowers the rank-and-file member to go after the bad provisions. We are now empowered to change a bill as it is on the floor without having to simply accept the entire package as a yes or no vote as our only choices.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin announced the U.S. could reach its debt ceiling as early as this week. Once it does, extraordinary measures will be taken to give Congress at least a few months to determine what the nation’s next financial steps could be. If the debt ceiling is not raised, the U.S. could default on its debt, and the nation’s credit rating could be impacted. It will also have ramifications for the nation’s and global economy.
“We are going to take this time to have some serious discussions about how we got here and how we get out of this,” Brecheen said.
FOX23 asked Brecheen if he saw himself voting to raise the debt ceiling while pushing for a reduction in the national debt. He said it would all depend on what deals are made to ensure Federal spending and the debt goes down in the future while also making sure the nation’s financial obligations could be met in the near term.
Brecheen said some of the immediate things Republicans hope to do is look at the recently passed $1.646 Trillion Omnibus bill that had a variety of pet projects for different members of Congress. Because it takes a while for that money to get to the projects assigned, he said it’s likely some of those projects could be on the chopping block before the checks approved for them are ever cut and signed.
As of now, the current national debt is $31.4 Trillion dollars.
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