GOP congressman who backed Trump tax cuts wants debt clocks in Capitol


Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said he was 'proud to have stood up for fiscal sanity' since becoming a congressman, despite openly supporting the deficit-busting tax legislation.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a first term lawmaker who campaigned on a pledge to make Donald Trump's debt-expanding tax cuts permanent, wants to install up-to-the-minute displays of the current national debt in House committee rooms.

His reasoning: Congress should know what the national debt is in order to eliminate it.

Roy announced on Tuesday that he was introducing the "Know Debt Resolution," a proposal that mandates the House Clerk "place a real-time display of the United States gross national debt, as calculated by the Secretary of the Treasury, in the main hearing room of the Committee on Appropriations and in the main hearing room of the Committee on the Budget in clear view of the Members."

"The fruits of our nation’s fiscal irresponsibility was on full display this month as we topped $23 trillion in debt," Roy said in a press release. "It is quite clear to me that if Congress ever intends to eliminate the national debt, we need to at least know what the national debt is."

Roy added that "the first step in correcting behavior is realizing there is, in fact, a problem."

"The purpose of putting a debt clock in both committee rooms is to force members of Congress to recognize that we have a problem," he said.

While Roy lamented that Congress spends "money that we do not have, borrowed on the backs of our children, our grandchildren, and our grandchildren’s children," he included no offsets in his resolution for the cost of purchasing the two clocks, installing them, or powering them.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for the Texas congressman said in an email that the cost of installing the clocks would be "nominal."

"The final say will come from the House Committee on Administration. If the committee finds there will be a cost, it will likely be nominal. There is also nothing to say that either committee could not use current infrastructure (TVs, prompters, etc.) to put up a debt clock," they said.

The spokesperson added that, "in light of the fact that our nation is $23 trillion in debt and is running $1 trillion deficits, whatever the nominal cost of putting up a debt clock could be seems to miss the point."

The bill is being co-sponsored by Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Jeff Duncan (R-SC). Both voted in 2017 for Trump's "Tax Cut and Jobs Act," a bill that gave massive tax cuts to corporations and the very rich and will add $1 trillion to $2 trillion to the national debt.

While Roy was not in Congress at the time, he backed that tax bill and ran on a promise to "make it a top priority to make President Trump’s tax cuts permanent." Such a move would further increase the national debt by trillions.

Roy said in his release that he was "proud to have stood up for fiscal sanity since entering the halls of Congress."

"It is high time for Congress to take seriously the issue of our skyrocketing national debt," he said. "I plan to continue fighting for a balanced budget, reduced spending and ensuring that I can pass down an America to my children and grandchildren that is freer than the one I inherited from my parents and grandparents."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.