Tags: Conservative Republican lawmakers | policy analysts | debt limit spending reform | Rep. Andy Biggs

GOP Rep: 'Wasted Opportunity' if Raising Debt Limit Doesn't Include Reforms

Image: GOP Rep: 'Wasted Opportunity' if Raising Debt Limit Doesn't Include Reforms

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 01 Sep 2017 04:45 PM

Conservative Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs warned raising the nation's debt limit without including spending reforms would be a "wasted opportunity," a stance shared by many other conservative lawmakers and policy analysts.

One analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation told the Daily Caller that passing a "clean" debt increase — one with no strings attached — "really means continue the status quo."

"They don’t want to cut spending, they don’t want to adopt spending controls, they just want Congress to raise the debt limit like they did under the Obama administration most times and not make a fuss about it," said Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told the Daily Signal "it's the same song and dance every year."

"We understand the ramifications of not raising the debt ceiling, but if we’re going to do that, then why not attach it to some long-term reforms?" he asked. "Not for the sake of just checking the box, but as Republican members to do our due diligence to make sure that we are decreasing the debt that we are leaving on future generations."

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., maintained that any debt increase — which allows the government to pay its bills — should be paired with spending reductions elsewhere.

"If a clean debt limit is passed, it would be a wasted opportunity," Biggs told the Daily Signal. "We need to be using the debt limit issue and start making meaningful and permanent deductions in spending… [to be] moving us toward a balanced budget."

Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert agreed.

"The Freedom Caucus was urging, begging, just doing everything we could to get Republican elected leaders to bring the debt ceiling to the floor with some kind of cost control measure before August," Gohmert told the outlet.

"We wanted those things done so they don’t wait until the twelfth hour and then say, 'Hey, we’ve got no choice. We can’t default. You’ve got to vote for this or it’s your fault if the U.S. just goes under.'"

The Hutchins Center at Brookings Institution noted in 2011, then-President Barack Obama and Congress agreed on the Budget Control Act that raised the debt ceiling and set limits on future spending.

But by October 2013, federal borrowing had reached the level provided under that act, and over the next two years, Congress enacted a number of bills temporarily suspending the ceiling, the most recent being the Bipartisan Budget Act of November 2015.

The 2015 suspension expired this March, when Congress raised the limit to $19.8 trillion.

"We have a growing group of conservatives in the House… that are just saying, 'You know what, enough’s enough, it's time to start attaching this to real reforms,'" Walker told the Daily Caller.

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Conservative Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs warned raising the nation's debt limit without including spending reforms would be a "wasted opportunity," a stance shared by many other conservative lawmakers and policy analysts.One analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation...
Conservative Republican lawmakers, policy analysts, debt limit spending reform, Rep. Andy Biggs
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Friday, 01 Sep 2017 04:45 PM
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