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Horowitz: House debt limit bill is worth supporting if McCarthy promises to stand behind it at all costs
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Horowitz: House debt limit bill is worth supporting if McCarthy promises to stand behind it at all costs

We can’t wait until January 2025 to deal with the woke and weaponized government attacking our life, liberty, way of life, and civilization. We need an inflection point right now to force a cathartic national debate on the continuation of biomedical tyranny, political targeting, the surveillance state, gender grooming, open borders, and anarcho-tyranny – just to name a few existential threats from the federal government. The debt ceiling fight, the annual appropriations bills, and several agency reauthorization bills are the only leverage points we have.

So far, the House leadership is passing its first step in activating those inflection points. Will this time be different? Will the leaders stand behind it without caving when the going gets rough in June?

Yesterday, Speaker McCarthy released the bill from the GOP offering to raise the debt limit for either a year or a dollar amount of $1.5 trillion. But for once, in return for temporarily raising the debt limit to deal with the mistakes already made by government, this bill promises immediate reforms that not only stop the growth of government, but will help strip it of the resources officials need to control our lives. The bill would cut over $4 trillion from the baseline trajectory of discretionary spending without touching Social Security and Medicare, institute 10 years of budget caps, and repeal Biden’s climate new deal – as we called for – so that the green energy fascism cannot get off the ground and so that we don’t have 87,000 more IRS agents targeting political opponents.

Additionally, the bill attaches the REINS Act, an idea from a decade ago, which would force every regulation promulgated by federal agencies with a cost of more than $100 million to be subject to congressional approval. This is how we stop runaway debt and growth of government with entire programs and industries created by administrative fiat without any statutory authority. The bill also contains sundry other provisions, such as instituting work requirements for some welfare programs and rescinding Biden’s student loan debt bailout.

It's not new for Republicans to pass a good bill months away from the brinksmanship deadline and then cave on us, but what has changed is that, thanks to the January speaker fight, conservatives finally have power and input, and the results are showing. Despite a cadre of 50 or so whining RINOs on his left flank, McCarthy has incorporated much of what the Freedom Caucus asked for in its proposal last month.

As such, so long as it’s clear that this vote will not be used in preparation for a quasi-blank check later on when the pressure builds, this bill is worth supporting. It’s worth showing a united front behind a proposal that actually authorizes more debt without greenlighting endless debt thereafter in perpetuity. It forces McConnell and the liberal Senate Republicans to either reject sound policymaking and join with Biden or unite behind fighting an unpopular president and a Fourth Reich style of government.

Obviously, we can debate which provisions we’d like to see in the bill, but so long as it is a precondition for any debt limit increase, it’s worth giving McCarthy leeway, given the ankle biting of the RINO caucus threatening to join Democrats. Although I’d be remiss not to point out that many of those members are in Congress only because McCarthy naively supported them in primaries. Hopefully, this will serve as a wake-up call that it is better policy and politics to work with conservatives than RINO ankle biters, one of whom threatened to help Democrats force a vote (discharge petition) on a blank check debt limit increase.

Immediately after passing the debt ceiling bill, Republicans should press forward and begin work on the 12 annual appropriations bills funding government based on the principles established in this bill, but with even greater specificity. The overarching principle should be that no government program will receive funding if it is used to infringe upon civil liberties, unfairly target specific groups of Americans, violates the bodily autonomy of the citizenry, spies on law-abiding citizens, or contributes to inflation, scarcity, and the degradation of the standard of living for Americans. In other words, government must work toward the common good and general welfare, not against it.

Next, Republicans must be clear in their messaging that there is no automatic default once government is forced to issue new debt to pay for the entire budget. There is only default when they fail to pay the interest on the debt. Our government wants to spend an unfathomable $6.4 trillion this year. It takes in about $4.8 trillion in tax revenue. That is enough to cover Social Security, Medicare, the military, veterans, and interest on the debt. So there is no immediate default. But if we don’t stop this now, we will have to print endless money just to pay the interest on the debt, which will create even more inflation.

Even before this era of eye-popping debt, there was a bipartisan consensus that accumulation of debt should be avoided like the plague. James Madison warned that “public debt is a public curse, and in a Republican Government a greater than in any other.” Even the “big government” champion of the time, Alexander Hamilton, declared that “nothing can more affect national prosperity than a constant and systematic attention to extinguish the present debt and to avoid as much as possibly the incurring of any new debt.”

This is why the debt ceiling is so important. Whereas politicians are unwilling to debate the imperative of a single program, the debt ceiling was a massive roadblock that could force a national discussion on the entire budget — a debate on the true role of the federal government and its priorities (and scandalous behavior).

In light of the $10 trillion COVID spend-a-thon, how could we not force this national debate from any political perspective? As late as the first term of George W. Bush, the gross federal debt was “only” 60% of GDP. Today it is 121% of our economy, higher than during the peak of WWII! It is now nearly three times the size it was when the Tea Party was formed in response.

We are out of time. The fight is not for the White House; the fight is right now. Are House Republicans up to the challenge?

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Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz

Blaze Podcast Host

Daniel Horowitz is the host of “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” and a senior editor for Blaze News.
@RMConservative →