Thursday, June 01, 2023

Most of Tennessee's Republican House delegation would rather face an economic meltdown rather than accept a fiscally responsible compromise.

by Rod Williams, June 1, 2023- I am pleased to see the House of Representatives pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) and avoid a catastrophic default. While I wish the bill would have had deeper spending cuts, this looks like the best that could be had. The Congressional Budget Office says this act, which raises the debt limit, will reduce debt levels by roughly $1.5 trillion while also enacting a number of policy reforms. The bill will now move to the Senate where it is expected to quickly pass.

This is what Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said about the bill: 

The Fiscal Responsibility Act is the largest deficit reduction bill in over a decade, and we applaud members of both parties for passing it through the House. After years of making deficits worse, it is refreshing to see bipartisan action toward making them better. The bill represents fiscally responsible policymaking, bipartisanship, and compromise – all things that are necessary to ultimately tackle our out-of-control debt.

Given the nation’s unsustainable fiscal situation, we would have loved to see a larger package of savings more than anyone. It’s easy to sit in the cheap seats and throw grenades but legislating actual deficit reduction is hard, and it shows true leadership to compromise for the good of the country and begin putting the budget on a better path.

This bill will importantly avoid default, and we encourage the Senate to pass the bill and send it to the President’s desk as soon as possible.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled House with majority support from both Democrats and Republicans. The House vote was 314-117. While 71 hardline Republicans voted against the measure, 165 Democrats and 149 Republicans voted for it.  It is disappointing that so many Republicans would prefer an economic meltdown to compromise. 

I commend the more responsible among Tennessee's Republican delegation including my own Representative Mark Green.

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