Arrington Says It’s Time for Republicans and Democrats to Come Together to Reduce the National Debt

WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks Tuesday morning before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (TX-19) talked about the effort he is leading on Capitol Hill to get federal spending under control.

“We all at our core want a safer, stronger, freer future for our children,” he stated, kicking off his remarks.  “Ronald Reagan put it best when he said there’s no guarantee. We don’t pass freedom and prosperity along. We have to fight for it.  We have to work for it. And we have to find common ground. Fighting for it doesn’t mean always drawing your partisan sword. It sometimes means sacrificing and saying you’ll take less than the ideal — so we can govern, and so we can live to fight another day.”

Arrington was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017. A West Texas native who served in the Administration of President George W. Bush before returning home in 2007 to become Vice Chancellor of his alma mater, Texas Tech, he became Chairman of the Budget Committee after Republicans won control of the House last fall.

“I told the Conference when I ran for this position that this isn’t just about a budget resolution,” he said, looking back on his successful campaign to take the reins of the Budget Committee.  “I’m not trying to totally diminish having a long-term view and framework. But if we can’t reduce deficit spending year over year, I don’t know what’s going to happen in ten years. I know that we don’t have the Senate right now, and I know we don’t have a President who will sign a lot of the things that we would need to actually balance the budget in ten years with $14 trillion in savings. I know that isn’t going to happen.  But we can focus on what’s real and what’s right before us. And that’s taking the ‘24 budget and baselining it at ‘22 spending.  That’s the discretionary spending that we have control over.”

Arrington also delivered some straight talk to both sides of the aisle and those who argue Congress can put off addressing America’s exploding national debt until future years.

“We’ve all contributed to this mess,” he stated bluntly.  “I don’t want to be part of the generation of American leaders that left the country worse than when we found it. But the jury’s out, the question remains, and the debt crisis looms large over the horizon.  Paul Ryan said it in his book as well as anybody.  We cannot defy the laws of economic reality forever. We’re at an inflection point in the life of this country. This is the 21st century challenge. This is our generation’s World War.

“Yes, we have great existential threats like China that are real, and we need to be ready militarily. We have to invest in security.  We have to pay attention to those things.  But as Admiral Mullen put it when asked about what he perceived as the greatest national security threat, he said, ‘The national debt.’  If we have a currency or sovereign debt crisis, we can’t put a military on the battlefield. We cannot deter the great axis of evil and our adversaries. We can’t fund senior safety nets or anti-poverty programs or farm bills.  So it’s a huge task, and I don’t take it lightly.”

The Texas lawmaker concluded his remarks by pointing out what Congress will need to get spending under control and reduce the national debt.

Republicans and Democrats must set aside their partisan differences and come together on a plan.  “And here’s the plan as I see it,” he stated.  “Get our own fiscal house in order, which includes responsible budgets, enforcing budget rules, regular order, etc. That’s not a small thing.”

Just as important, Arrington said Congress also needs to get the federal government out of the way and put the American economy to work.  “Let’s grow the economy,” he said.  “That’s how they got out of the indebtedness the last time we were this loaded with debt, when we had surpluses and balanced budgets in the ‘90s.”

“We have to get back to the principles that you all believe and subscribe to – less government, lower taxes, lower regulations. I can tell you this – whatever the budget looks like, it will be a pro-growth budget.”

To view the remarks of Chairman Arrington at Tuesday’s breakfast discussion, please click the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.