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March 20, 2024

Schweikert: Congress Fights Over Pennies While Avalanche of Debt Is Hurtling Toward Us

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) delivered a speech on the House Floor last night to explain that inflation has persisted in large part due to record levels of spending over the past three years. Rep. Schweikert also noted that total deficit spending for FY24 will be dramatically higher than both CBO and OMB initially projected if the national debt continues to increase at the current pace of over $99,000 per second. 

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 the Congressional Budget Office missing its FY24 deficit spending projection by $1 trillion:

[Beginning at 8:14]
“So last May, when we were supposed to be building the 2024 budget, and we’re going to vote on some of the rest of it this week, which shows you how dysfunctional we’ve been. But we were too busy trying to get rid of a Speaker. And think of this — in that time, we were fighting over like $16 billion. We’re borrowing about $9 billion a day. So we’ve gone how many months and we’ve never gotten around to actually working on the real problems because of the theatrics around here? So, the Congressional Budget Office last year said, ‘Hey, we may only borrow $1.744 trillion.’ […] Then the Office of Management and Budget last June said, ‘Hey, we’re only going to borrow $1.988 trillion in the 2024 fiscal year.’ And that bottom number is just what we’ve already borrowed to date, which if you work it out per month, you’re looking at $2.8-2.9 trillion [of borrowing]. How do we keep missing the number by $1 trillion? Is that part of the scam?”

On interest spending alone being projected to top $1 trillion this fiscal year:

[Beginning at 16:11]
“Our latest model says interest in the 2024 fiscal year will be $1.076 trillion. When I came here a couple of months ago and said we could be heading for $1 trillion [in interest spending], I got mocked. I even saw my colleagues go, ‘Schweikert, you’ve got to stop making things up!’ Well, turns out I’m right. But, Mr. Speaker Pro Tempore, why don’t we take it seriously? […] We will spend all day fighting over a few million here, which is important, and I am willing to cut these things, but we’re picking up pennies off the ground as the avalanche is crushing us. Because that same day we fought over those millions, we borrowed $9 billion a day when we are fighting over millions. Understand, $1 trillion has 12 zeros. Start to work your zeros and understand the scale.”

On persistent inflation:

[Beginning at 20:43]
“How are we still running hot again? We are paying the price for spending money in ways that did not actually spike productivity. When you subsidize things, do you get the most efficient, the cheapest, the best way to produce them? It doesn’t work that way. You need to make it so there’s a level of competition that the best, fastest product and the re-investment in your capital. So it’s it’s the difference between supply side and sort of the Keynesian investments. And now you’ve seen the productivity gains with [TCJA], and now you’ve seen what happened with the [Inflation Reduction Act], where you got inflation. And now the last two months, it hasn’t been going down the way it’s supposed to. So expect these interest rates I just showed you to continue. And if you live in my neighborhood, if you live in the Scottsdale-Phoenix area — wonderful area, absolutely incredibly beautiful this time of year. From January 2021 to two months ago, if you’re not making 23.6% more, you are poorer today than you were in January 2021. You want to know why people are cranky?”

On advancements in health care innovation:

[Beginning at 29:14]
“Artificial intelligence is about to have a revolution in bringing cures to market dramatically faster. We’ve actually now had the first couple of AI drugs designed to make it through the FDA. As you know, six weeks ago, we had the first [gene therapy treatment approved by the FDA to] cure sickle cell anemia […] and what we learn from that technology, there’s more coming. How do we make it possible that it doesn’t take $100 million to bring one of these drugs to market? When we now have the ability to crunch data in ways that we were never able to do before to understand efficacy, safety and effectiveness. We could do it by policies — is that Republican or Democrat, or is that just sort of joining into this century? This is a wonderful chart trying to just point out the capital markets are starting to spend money in places to cure people. I will argue one of the most moral things we could do and one of the most powerful things we could do for U.S. sovereign debt is to make Americans much less sick. […] So if diabetes is 33% of all spending — so there’s 3,000-plus human conditions, half of them are related to obesity. Do we think about things we could do in farm policy and nutrition policy in helping our brothers and sisters live better, healthier, more prosperous, [improve their] ability to join into the labor force, maybe family formation, crushing income inequality? Is that Republican or Democrat?”

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