Most GOP backers of a resolution to declare the national debt a 'national security threat' also backed Donald Trump's tax cuts.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) wants Congress to declare the U.S. national debt a "threat to the national security of the United States" and to commit to "addressing the fiscal crisis." But he and most of the Republican lawmakers backing his resolution voted for the tax cuts in 2017 that helped exacerbate the problem.
"The resolution recognizes that deficits are unsustainable, irresponsible, and dangerous, and calls on the House of Representatives to restoring regular order in the appropriations process and to commit to addressing the fiscal crisis faced by the US," he tweeted.
"It's not compassionate to bankrupt America!" said Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), endorsing the proposal.
But while Biggs is suddenly concerned with the large gap between revenue and spending, he played a role in running up the debt.
When he and Donald Trump took office in January 2017, the national debt was just under $20 trillion. Later that year, Biggs enthusiastically backed Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. "This is an historic day," he proclaimed. He even urged that the cuts be applied retroactively.
The law, which slashed tax rates for corporations and the very wealthy — while actually raising taxes on 10 million American families — added an estimated $1 trillion to $2 trillion to the budget deficit over a decade.
In 2018, Biggs voted for another bill that would have made the individual tax cuts permanent, further reducing revenue and increasing the deficit. His campaign website still says he is "working to simplify our tax structure and make sure that all tax cuts become permanent."
Though Trump as a candidate had vowed to balance the budget and eliminate the national debt, he made things much worse.
Most of his co-sponsors were in the House in 2017 and voted for the tax cuts as well.
Reps. Davidson, Ken Buck (CO), Ted Budd (NC), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Tom Emmer (MN), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Glenn Grothman (WI), Jody Hice (GA), Brian Mast (FL), Tom McClintock (CA), Alex Mooney (WV), Dan Newhouse (WA), Gary Palmer (AL), Scott Perry (PA), David Rouzer (NC), and Randy Weber (TX) backed the legislation. They and Mo Brooks of Alabama and Debbie Lesko of Arizona also backed the bill to make the cuts permanent.
The remaining co-sponsors were not in Congress at the time of those votes.
Since President Joe Biden took office, Republicans have rediscovered the debt as an issue, reviving calls for a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget and demanding a special commission to address the debt they helped rack up.
In recent weeks, some GOP senators have admitted that they played a role in making the debt worse.
"I don't think anybody has a very good record for the last decade on this," Missouri's Roy Blunt told Fox News in April.
"Republicans and Democrats alike have been responsible for increasing the spending, but it's always Democrats wanting to spend more than the Republicans," Rob Portman of Ohio said in March.
They refused to say what they would have done differently or to accept any rollback of the Trump tax cuts for the very rich.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.