U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, delivered the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in opposition to the Democrat proposal to increase the statutory limit on the national debt by $290 billion:
I rise today in opposition to H.R. 4314. It is a bill that will increase the statutory limit on the national debt by $290 billion. My distinguished colleague and friend just called that hitting the pause button, and that was evidence of his characteristic candor, because as everybody in this body knows this $290 billion increase in the statutory limit on the national debt is simply a down payment on the nearly $2 trillion increase in the national debt that this Democratic majority intends to move in this Congress at the first of the year.
Increasing the national debt. You know, it’s moments like this that I really got to say that the American people have had it. I mean at a time of economic difficulty for working families, small businesses and family farmers all across this country, a time when families are sitting down at kitchen tables, huddled around aluminum desks in small businesses in basements with fluorescent lights hanging, they’re figuring out where to cut back. They’re figuring out what expenses to put off. They’re just figuring out how to make it from one month to the next. And those families and those small businesses don’t have the ability to walk down to the bank and just increase their debt limit with the wave of a hand. They’ve got to make hard choices and to their undying credit the American people are making those hard choices.
And the reason they’re so frustrated, looking at Washington, D.C. today, is they see a national government that is completely out of step with the character and the values and the sacrifice that the American people are practicing every day. Not that it’s anything new. As the distinguished chairman just said a few moments ago, when the Republicans were in control we did our share of spending and overspending. Republicans doubled the national debt in the eight years of the last administration, but this Democratic majority just passed a budget that will double the national debt in the next five years and triple it in ten. After three years of Democratic control in the House, the national debt has increased by 39 percent. The national deficit hit a record of $1.4 trillion. In this fiscal year, it’s expected to reach a new record of $1.8 trillion.
Millions of Americans are asking, Madam Speaker, ‘When will it stop?’ When will Washington get the message that we can’t borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing America? We have got to begin, Republicans and Democrats, to practice what we so love to preach when we’re home: fiscal discipline; fiscal responsibility. And then we come here right before the Christmas break, on the day we’re probably headed out of this building, and we’re going to pass a $290 billion increase in the statutory limit on the national debt.
The American people don’t want more debt for Christmas. This Congress ought to be sticking around, making the hard choices, reducing the size and scope of government and reform these entitlements. Do our work the way the American people are doing the work, so help us God.
NOTE: To watch these remarks online, click here.