Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced resolutions in Congress on Tuesday that would label the more than $22 trillion in public debt a “threat to national security.”
Both Perdue and Biggs, as well as the majority of their co-sponsors, previously voted for a massive expansion of that threat through the GOP tax bill just 14 months ago.
The list includes Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Ben Sasse (R-NE), along with Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC), and Republican Study Committee Chair Mike Johnson (R-LA)
All six senators and all 37 of the representatives who were serving at the time voted in December 2017 for President Donald Trump’s tax legislation, which significantly reduced taxes for wealthy individuals and corporations and raised taxes on many middle class families. Prior to passage, congressional Republicans’ own handpicked economists predicted that the legislation would increase the budget deficit by about $1 trillion.
In a press release announcing House Resolution 149 and Senate Resolution 78, Biggs complained that “Congress is taking few measures to solve this problem, and it is beyond time for our colleagues in both chambers to become serious about balancing the nation’s budget and recognize this issue as a threat to our national security.” He also claimed that, because the United States is “producing record federal revenue,” the nation “has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.” While revenue is indeed up slightly overall, it is down significantly when adjusted for inflation.
Though non-binding, if passed, the proposals would put both the House and Senate on record as believing “that deficits are unsustainable, irresponsible, and dangerous,” and as committed to “addressing the fiscal crisis faced by the United States.”
Not all experts agree that the national debt is a bad thing, let alone the sort of national emergency this legislation makes it out to be, but the gap between revenue and spending is soon expected to reach $1 trillion annually for the first time in history.