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February 07, 2024

Schweikert: Will Members of Congress Ever Put Batteries in Their Calculators?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) delivered a speech on the House Floor last night to note that fighting over discretionary spending cuts has no impact on reeling in the $34 trillion national debt because every dime of money that Congress votes on is borrowed. He pointed out that unless Members of Congress are willing to have difficult conversations about revolutionizing the cost of health care, federal deficits will continue to spiral out of control.

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 Members of Congress fighting over discretionary spending cuts:

[Beginning at 9:20]
“What you need to understand is this is a disaster. It’s an absolute disaster. But yet we’re going to sit here and knife each other for months and months and months, over a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of this [$1.1 trillion in projected FY24 gross interest costs] because we don’t want to actually deal with the actual structural crisis. We got old. The fact of the matter, it’s uncomfortable to talk about. But unless we do some things revolutionary on the cost of health care and dramatically change government, it doesn’t work. Basic math — every dime of defense is now borrowed. Every dime of discretionary [spending] now is borrowed. And if you start to look at this math, it’s about $1.4 trillion of Medicare [spending] of the stuff we don’t even get a vote on. Every dime a Member of Congress votes on is now borrowed. We are clicking off another $1 trillion of borrowing every 140 days. And if you think you’re going to fix that by a rounding error on this little piece of discretionary ]spending], this little piece here — the game of avoidance. I have had members here who will, when I start to talk about a deficit commission, where we’re going to have to do major redesign, say, ‘Oh, David, I can’t vote for that. But I will fight like hell to save a few hundred million [dollars] here and there.’ There’s no money. We’re borrowing $85,000 per second, $7.4 billion per day. But it’s great theater for our voters.”

On Democrats’ immorality:

[Beginning at 21:12]
“My reason we do this is not to end my political career, but to tell the truth. Is it moral? It’s right in front of us. It’s coming. We know it’s coming. There’s actuarial reports from Social Security, from CBO, from private groups, those around us. And there’s the political ones who just lie to you because they want you to send them a contribution, or they want Democrats to win the next election, which I believe those groups are absolutely immoral. I believe what the Democrats have been doing is absolutely immoral. They care about winning this next election a lot more than they care about doubling senior poverty of the number of baby boomers who are expected to be homeless in a decade. And somehow when they say, ‘Oh, we’ll just take care of the shortfall, we’ll just get rid of the cap on rich people.’ It doesn’t get you where you’ve got to go. Is there any leadership around here?”

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