WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) delivered a speech on the House Floor last night to react to projections that gross interest on the national debt in Fiscal Year 2024 will climb past $1 trillion, making interest the second largest expense in all of government. Rep. Schweikert also discussed Moody’s lowering its outlook on the U.S. credit rating to negative. Additionally, he urged his colleagues to put politics aside and come together to stabilize U.S. debt by achieving a healthier society.
Excerpts from Rep. Schweikert’s floor speech can be found below:
Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Schweikert’s remarks.
On gross interest projected to eclipse $1 trillion in Fiscal Year 2024:
[Beginning at 4:48 mark]
“If I had come to this Floor a year or two ago and said gross interest in the 2024 fiscal year was going to cross over $1 trillion, you would’ve laughed your hearts out. Guess what? A couple of hours ago, OMB confirmed gross interest is going to be over $1 trillion this year, making it the second biggest expense of this government. Does anyone understand? A couple years ago, we were looking at numbers at $300-$400 billion. We have more than doubled [that]. Does anyone care? We can just continue to ignore it?
“A couple of months ago, I came here and showed some charts that in this fiscal year, we’re going to bring $9.6 trillion to market. About $2 trillion we estimated to be new issuance that’s from the borrowing from this year. The rest is what we call refinancing. It’s the short bonds, even some longer bonds that many of these bonds were really low, I mean, just slightly above zero, and they’re coming back for refinancing. And all of the sudden you have trillions and trillions of dollars that are down here with almost no interest expense to this government, to our taxpayers. And now they’re coming in and we’re starting to see mean interests moving over 3%, and it keeps going up. This should be what we talk about on the Floor. If this continues, it consumes everything in its path. Is interest Republican or Democrat? It’s just something we have to pay. But trust me, we’ll find a way to turn it partisan.”
On Moody’s lowering the U.S. credit outlook to negative:
[Beginning at 11:17 mark]
“You already know that two of the big credit rating agencies have done an actual downgrade. Last Friday, Moody’s basically put us on downgrade watch. They still let us have our AAA [rating], but they said [they] believe the bias is now negative. You do realize there’s five or six countries now out there that have better credit ratings than the United States? Good jobs, guys. We should all be very, very proud of ourselves.”
On taking on diabetes to stabilize U.S. debt:
[Beginning at 38:30 mark]
“There is a path [forward], and it turns out the [Republican portion] of the Joint Economic Committee [Report] about four months ago, Chapter 3, we went where we’re not supposed to go, but it was real math. We talked about our brothers and sisters’ longevity — the fact that the last four years, life expectancy in the United States has fallen. […] Let’s actually have an honest conversation because it also turns out it is not only a moral battle to save our brothers and sisters from dying young, it’s also the most powerful thing you can do to start to stabilize U.S. debt is to help Americans be healthier. Isn’t that something neat? Is that Republican or Democrat? It’s neither. It’s just the right thing to do. And we were coming up with a few trillion dollars over ten years by taking on obesity because of diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, all these other things.”