Last Thursday, the United States hit its legal debt limit of $31.4 trillion. According to U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), at least $5 trillion has come from unnecessary spending by the Biden administration, which is why he and other House Republicans are pushing for significant, non-defense spending cuts.
“It’s a crazy situation. I’ve been in Congress for several years now, and I have seen the debt increase steadily over the years,” Aderholt said during an interview with Newsmax.
"There were some things that we had to spend to keep the economy afloat and make sure our economy did not crash during [the COVID-19 pandemic]. But since the Biden administration has began in the last two years, there's been somewhere over $5 trillion, and a lot of this is just on spending that is not anything that is necessary. They're sort of nice things to have, but they're not necessary. At some point, we have to come and say, 'We can't just keep raising the debt limit… You can't just keep spending and spending and spending."
Aderholt said House Republicans have no intention of letting America default on its debt. However, unless something changes how the money is printed and spent, Congress will have the same fight over the debt ceiling a year from now. According to Newsmax, the debt ceiling has been raised nearly 80 times since the 1960s.
"[S]ome members of Congress won't really focus on trying to cut spending unless they're really pushed to the wall," he said.
Given the tensions with foreign adversaries such as Russia and China, Aderholt said the cuts need to come from other areas than defense spending.
"I'm sure there's things within the Defense Department, there's waste that needs to be cut out. I am all for that. But as far as an overall cut of defense spending … that's just not the way we need to go," he said.
"Really where we got to make sure that we cut spending is growing these programs that are continuing to grow in the United States. Now that doesn't mean that I'm against social security or medicare. I think those programs are serving their purpose and will serve their purpose, but they're are a lot of outgrowths… We have so many in this country that are fleecing the system. We have so much spending in the U.S. that could be pared back, and there's a way that we can do it. Democrats want to keep spending, and it's just like kicking the can down the road."
With the debt limit past, the U.S. Treasury Department has begun employing "extraordinary measures" to pay the government's bills through spring. By that time, Congress is expected to reach a solution. Though any effort at cutting government spending has little chance of surviving the Democrat-controlled Senate, Aderholt said it's still important for the House to act and advance the conversation.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.