GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, who sits on the powerful House Rules Committee, has come out in opposition to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling deal with President Joe Biden.
The agreement suspends the debt ceiling until after the 2024 elections in exchange for taking most discretionary non-defense spending back to fiscal year 2022 levels and setting a 1 percent cap on the growth in spending for the next six years thereafter.
Other provisions in the deal include adding some work requirements for those receiving food stamps, clawing back billions in unspent COVID funds, and rejecting any tax increases.
Roy and other members of the Freedom Caucus don’t think the agreement does nearly enough to address the nation’s dire fiscal situation.
“We’re just barreling towards an infinite amount of debt, and we’ve got to stop that,” Roy told Fox News Monday. “The American people didn’t send me here to just do what the defense establishment, the spending appropriators all want to do in this town, which is spend money we don’t have.”
He argued that all the deal does is bend the spending curve at post-COVID levels.
“The government is 40 percent bigger than it was pre-COVID. Let’s go back to pre-COVID levels of spending,” Roy said. “This deal doesn’t do that.”
Biden’s FY 2024 budget submitted to Congress in March calls for $6.8 trillion in spending.
Roy contended that the policy changes the House passed in the Limit, Save, Grow Act last month offered the proper blueprint for a deal. However, none of the provisions in the bill made it fully intact into the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which is the McCarthy-Biden deal.
The congressman tweeted a graphic showing the differences between the two pieces of legislation.
Why I will oppose the #DebtCeiling “deal.” It’s not a good deal. Some $4 Trillion in debt for – at best – a two year spending freeze and no serious substantive policy reforms. #NoDeal pic.twitter.com/C73fjSA2Fr
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) May 29, 2023
Some of the main differences include raising the debt ceiling by $4 trillion versus $1.5 trillion in the original bill. The McCarthy-Biden deal would also weaken work requirements for food stamp recipients, keep green energy tax credits and student loan bailouts in place, and pull back just $28 billion in unspent COVID funds versus the $50 billion.
At a Freedom Caucus news conference Tuesday, Roy said, “No one sent us here to borrow an additional $4 trillion to get absolutely nothing in return. But at best, if I’m being really generous, a spending freeze for a couple of years” is what’s in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
“Not one Republican should vote for this deal,” he proclaimed.
McCarthy defended the Fiscal Responsibility Act in a Sunday The Wall Street Journal opinion piece.
“Perhaps the most historic and foundational change is cutting spending year over year for the first time in more than a decade. Taking aside veterans’ healthcare, which will be fully funded, we will return to 2022 spending levels for nondefense accounts and set top-line spending at 1% growth for the next six years,” the speaker wrote.
“In other words, we will spend less money next year than we did this year — stopping inflationary spending while fully funding national defense, meeting our obligations to veterans, and preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare,” McCarthy continued.
“No other debt-limit increase in the past decade has reduced overall spending, reduced nondefense spending and reduced the deficit. The Fiscal Responsibility Act is true, transformative spending reform.”