Thursday, April 18, 2024

Kennedy, Budget Committee Republicans urge Whitehouse to use hearings to address economic challenges

by BIZ Magazine

WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, joined Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in urging committee chairman Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to hold hearings that address the nation’s economic challenges after two credit agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, reported a negative outlook on U.S. creditworthiness.

A Penn Wharton Budget Model study also found that the window to take corrective fiscal action is closing rapidly and that, once it closes, no amount of tax increases or spending cuts could avoid a government default.

“Our current national debt is $33.7 trillion. This is equivalent to over 123 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Moreover, we continue to add to our unprecedented national debt at a record clip. The United States Treasury Department recently reported that the federal government ran a fiscal year 2023 deficit of $1.7 trillion. At 6.3 percent of GDP, the FY 2023 deficit was larger than all but six deficits recorded since 1946. Furthermore, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that over the next decade deficits will persist at levels previously uncommon outside of war or recession—totaling nearly $19 trillion in deficit spending through 2033,” wrote the senators.

“Under your chairmanship, the Senate Committee on the Budget has dedicated significant time and attention to climate issues, holding 12 separate hearings on climate change this year alone. We implore you to direct the Committee’s agenda to the impending budgetary and fiscal crisis facing our nation—issues at the heart of this committee’s jurisdiction. There’s no time to spare,” they continued.

“Tough conversations on our nation’s fiscal health need to be had to preserve our nation’s economic strength. If we want to be the global leader in the economic marketplace, then we need to lead from the front with strong fiscal responsibility,” the lawmakers concluded.

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) also signed the letter.

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