September 27, 2023

Addressing America’s debt crisis

By Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Hardworking families make tough decisions every day to pay their bills and balance their checkbooks, and it’s past time for Congress to do the same. It’s why I supported HR 3746, the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Our economic foundation in capitalism has lifted millions from poverty by giving people of every economic background the opportunity to succeed. It’s the responsibility of our government to ensure the American dream continues to inspire generations to work hard and innovate; however, continuing to spend beyond our means will put that very dream at risk. It is irresponsible and unfair to the American taxpayer, just as defaulting on our debt would be.

I joined House Republicans in April to pass the Limit, Save, and Grow Act and make it clear that we will no longer stand for the unchecked, one-party reckless spending that has gone on for far too long in Washington. Even under Republican majorities, spending exceeded our increased revenue.

This week, I voted to pass the largest spending reform in over a decade, cutting ~$2.1-2.3 trillion in government spending and limiting the annual growth of spending to 1% over the next 6 years. This legislation clawed back $28 billion of unspent COVID funds and slashed $400 million from the CDC’s “Global Health Fund” that was being sent directly to the Chinese Communist Party.

Work requirements for food stamps are expanded and loopholes used by states to manipulate “around” these requirements are closed bringing more Americans back into the workforce and out of poverty. An administrative Pay-Go, which requires executive agencies to practice fiscal restraint and remain budget neutral, was also included. Had this been in place sooner, we would have saved $1.5 trillion over the past two years.

America and Iowa received a major win when it comes to infrastructure, home building and energy projects. This bill achieves the most significant National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reforms since 1982. These reforms will help ensure that NEPA projects are no longer taking 7 to 10 years to complete but rather just over 2 years. Not only will permitting reform lower energy costs, it spurs our economic growth and is a tremendous step forward.

Finally, this bill will restart student loan repayments and require borrowers to be responsible for paying off their own student loan debts and is estimated to save the taxpayers $5 billion a month.

Though not a perfect bill, this legislation accomplished all of the above and more without raising taxes one penny and kept the country from a catastrophic default. Republicans, led by Speaker McCarthy, rejected all of President Biden’s $5 trillion tax increases, government mandates, and new federal programs.

This was only the first step to address our out-of-control spending addiction and it sets the table for future spending reforms to protect taxpayers, economic growth and address our budget responsibly. There is a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done, and I look forward to continuing to represent Iowa’s 1st congressional district and being your voice in Washington.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks currently represents Iowa’s First District in the United States House of Representatives.