House Majority Leader Scalise appeared on Fox News’ America Reports on Thursday to discuss the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. Leader Scalise blasted the Biden Administration for waiting until the midnight hour to engage with House Republicans on debt ceiling talks – even as House Republicans passed H.R. 2811, the Limit, Save, Grow Act to rein in reckless government spending and address the debt ceiling. Leader Scalise also highlighted specific reforms, such as work requirements, that are increasingly popular among Americans and would put money back in the pockets of taxpayers.
On debt ceiling negotiations:
“Well, John, good to be with you and, obviously, if you look at who has taken action to address the debt ceiling, the House is the only body that’s done that. You know, the White House keeps talking about, ‘Congress needs to do their job.’ We passed a bill to address the debt ceiling [and] the President took 97 days off. He just recently got back engaged and the United States Senate is not even in this week. There are no senators here. They’re not even coming until next week. Clearly, they’re not taking this seriously, but we are, and that’s why we passed a bill to address the debt ceiling but also to address Washington’s spending problem.
“Shouldn’t we also be addressing the fact that, for every 100 dollars we’re taking in, Washington spends 129 dollars? You can’t keep doing that. We want to fix that too, and that’s what these negotiations are about.”
On the urgency of negations:
“Well, look, [the House Freedom Caucus has] been working with us every step of the way, bringing ideas to the table just like other members of our conference and that was reflected in the bill that we passed. Everybody had involvement in that.
“We also did pass other bills. Just a few weeks ago, we passed that very bill that they referenced – H.R. 2, the [Secure the Border Act]. We all know how out-of-control control the border is. We’ve got to get that under control, too, but we need a President who’s engaged. The President has to put real ideas on the table. He should have done that two months ago, when we started these talks. He checked out for 97 days, and that’s cost the White House some time. We haven’t been waiting. We’ve been doing our jobs.”
On whether the ongoing debt talks will yield a long-term solution to the debt crisis:
“Well, if you look at some of the things the White House has tried to do that we said are non-starters: President Biden said that he wants to spend more money. We said, ‘That’s not going to be the case. In fact, we need to spend less.’ President Biden said that he wants more tax increases on hardworking families. We said, ‘That’s a non-starter, there will not be a dime in new taxes. In fact, we need to work to lower the tax burden that’s hurting families right now with high inflation.’
“Washington spending is driving high inflation and President Biden – by the way – has raised over a trillion dollars in new taxes the last two years. So if tax increases would solve the problem, we’d already be at a balanced budget because of what [President] Biden and [Congresswoman] Pelosi did. Obviously, that doesn’t work. We need to go in the other direction and control spending and get our economy moving again. That’s what we’ve been focused on.”
On a growing number of Americans who want to cut reckless government spending:
“Look, the President said he wanted a blank check. Not only did we say, ‘That’s not going to happen,’ the American people have said, ‘That’s irresponsible.’ That’s why we have high inflation – because of too much spending. The President took 97 days off and the American people watched that, too. And they said, ‘Look, the House passed the bill. They laid responsible ideas on the table: work requirements for people that are sitting at home making 35,000 [dollars] a year while somebody else is working two jobs barely getting by.’
“Let’s reclaim unspent COVID money – maybe 50 billion dollars of unspent COVID money – and COVID is over even according to President Biden. Why not give that money back to the taxpayers and get more savings there? Those are the common sense things we put in our bill.
“I think that’s why the American people have responded and said, ‘Why don’t you work with what the Republicans have laid out and get this deal done?’”