Paul Ryan Turns to Matt Gaetz for Help on the Debt Ceiling

October 6, 2017
In The News

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., named a freshman congressman from Florida to his new group working on the debt ceiling. 

Ryan announced on Thursday that U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., will be part of the Debt Ceiling Working Group which is scheduled to meet for the first time on Tuesday. 
 
“I am honored to have been chosen by the speaker to work in the debt ceiling group,” Gaetz said on Thursday. “In the past month, our government debt finally exceeded twenty trillion dollars. This means that if America’s debt were divided evenly among our citizens, every man, woman, and child in this country would owe more than sixty thousand dollars. This is not only generational theft, but morally repugnant. We cannot continue to sell out future generations simply because we cannot, or will not, rein in our out-of-control spending.”

Ryan praised Gaetz’s fiscal record.

 “This is exactly why we wanted Matt Gaetz on the Budget Committee, because of how serious he is about getting our fiscal house in order,” Ryan said. “He brings to this working group the kind of fresh approach and long-term thinking taxpayers deserve right now. I appreciate his willingness to take on this responsibility at this critical time.”

Last month, Gaetz was one of 90 House Republicans who broke with Ryan voted against a proposal raising the debt ceiling which also included more than $15 billion for relief in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

"Congress found a way to turn about $100 billion in actual need into over a trillion dollars in new spending authority by raising the debt limit," Gaetz told the Pensacola News Journal. 

Gaetz continued his calls for fiscal responsibility on Thursday. 

“The last presidential election showed that the American people are fed up with Washington,” Gaetz said. “President Trump’s call to ‘drain the swamp’ resonated with a lot of people in my district, and a lot of Americans. With a Republican majority in Congress and a Republican president, we must make the most of this opportunity, and finally take bold, conservative steps to reform our government, and make it sustainable for future generations of Americans.

 “I will never support raising the debt ceiling until we fix the broken Washington system,” Gaetz added. “Look at our budget process: we spend like crazy, and then pass budgets after the fact. Meanwhile, we have solutions available, like implementing work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults on Medicaid. This is just common sense: we can’t keep borrowing money from China in order to pay for the health-care of people who choose not to work. Washington has a lot of room for improvement, at both a policy level and a systemic level. I’d only consider raising the debt ceiling once these serious issues get fixed — but I also think that fixing the broken system will save enough money that a debt ceiling vote would be a moot point.”

On Thursday, Gaetz backed a $4.1 trillion budget resolution which also started the tax reform process. While most experts expect the national debt to increase if tax reform is adopted, Gaetz insisted the House GOP’s plan would lead to a balanced budget in the future. 

“Under President Obama, readiness fell to lowest levels in a century, GDP growth sputtered, the quality of health-care for the middle class got worse, and our debt sky-rocketed,” Gaetz said on Thursday. “These are not policies we want to repeat, and certainly not policies we should expand. I voted today in favor of the Republican budget, which cuts spending by over two hundred billion dollars, greatly reduces government waste, and balances in ten years. It strengthens our military, reduces our national debt by over six trillion dollars, and lays the groundwork for overhauling our broken tax code. With the greatest reduction in entitlement spending since Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, this budget can actually restore the great promise of the American dream,”