November 18, 2004
Congressman Adam Smith made the following statement today regarding raising the Federal Debt Limit:
“Today the House Republican leadership is bringing S. 2986 to the House floor for a vote – this measure increases the limit on the federal debt by $800 billion to $8.18 trillion. I will vote against this troubling bill. Their lack of fiscal discipline has forced the Republican Leadership to pass three separate increases to the debt limit in the last three years including the 2003 increase of $984 billion, the largest increase in history. Since 2002 Congress has increased the debt limit over two trillion dollars. The Republicans’ irresponsible policies have left them no choice but to raise the limit on the amount of debt America can incur. But there is a choice in how it is raised.
We can continue to pass ineffective legislation that would simply raise the debt limit or we can implement true economic reform by implementing the tried and true ‘pay-as-you-go’ (PAYGO) policies which were so effective in the 1990s and which produced the record budget surpluses that the Bush Administration inherited. Since 2001 the Republican held White House, Senate, and House has turned a $5.6 trillion surplus into a $ 3.5 trillion deficit with record spending that includes over $ 2 trillion in tax cuts. We need to be fiscally responsible with any spending during this time of economic recovery.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) the debt will continue to increase and is estimated to reach over $ 13 trillion by 2014 if Congress does not change its budget policy. If the Republican leadership chooses to go forward with the President’s proposed spending and tax cut policies then it could push the debt limit to $ 14.5 trillion, nearly double the current limit, by 2014. This is not only irresponsible, but it is immoral and will hinder our country’s abilities in the future to meet critical needs for our nation as a whole, as well as risking the future for our children and grandchildren. The fight for the future starts now and Congress must make tough decisions in order to provide a more secure and brighter tomorrow for all Americans."