Issue: S.J. Res.33, Joint resolution relating to increasing the debt limit. Question: On passage.
Result: Passed, 221 to 209, 4 not voting. Passed the previous day by the Senate (Senate Vote 498, 12-14-21). Signed by the President, 12-16-21 (became Public Law 117-73). Democrats only scored.
Freedom First Society: S.J. Res. 33 raised the national debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion without any corresponding effort to roll back unconstitutional federal spending. We do not score the Republicans on this one for their inconsequential opposition posturing vote.
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)
Bill Summary (Congressional Research Service):
Public Law No: 117-73 (12/16/2021)
This joint resolution increases the public debt limit by $2.5 trillion.
Freedom First Society Analysis: We’re constantly told that it’s unthinkable for the government not to pay its debts on time. But apparently it’s not unthinkable to spend beyond our means and incur ever-increasing debt we cannot afford.
It’s important to recognize the orchestrated media betrayal — the option of serious federal rollbacks is not allowed in the “public discussion.” The public rarely hears from “experts” warning us that we must curb unconstitutional spending to avoid bankrupting the nation. Or explaining that eliminating such spending would lead to unprecedented national prosperity and even improved opportunity for the recipients of “unconstitutional” government welfare? The real problem — unconstitutional government is not mentioned. If the federal government were limited by the Constitution, in normal times there would be no serious problem with deficits (and at current tax levels, there would be surpluses to begin retiring the national debt.
We will next comment on some excerpts from the debate posted in the Congressional record. We will show that Congress is incapable of addressing out-of-control spending without informed pressure from constituents who also work to retire those who do not obey the Constitution.
Most reps. are currently unwilling to roll back unconstitutional spending. Ever greater government spending serves the agenda of the Conspiracy. Keep in mind that the Conspiracy dominates BOTH political parties, not just the Democrat wolves. Many Republican “wolves in sheep’s clothing” vote conservative when it doesn’t affect the outcome just in order to be able to tout an “ostensible” conservative record before unaware constituents.
From the Congressional Record (12-14-21) [Emphasis added]:
Rep. Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (D-Virginia), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee:
“Madam Speaker, I am pleased that today the House will take action to protect our Nation’s full faith and credit. S.J. Res. 33 will ensure that the United States continues to be a nation that pays its bills, period.
“Without today’s action, for the first time in our history, the United States Government could default on its debt obligations because of the debt limit, and this would be ruinous for U.S. workers and their families.
“It would trigger a financial crisis on par with that of 2008, resulting in catastrophic economic damage with millions of jobs lost, businesses shuttered, and a banking system in chaos….
“I want to be very clear. Raising the debt ceiling is not about incurring new debts. We are simply ensuring the Federal Government keeps its existing commitments, that it pays the bills we have already racked up.
“By raising the debt limit, we are meeting our existing obligations to members of the military, veterans, and recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security….
“Congress has addressed the debt limit 79 times since 1960 to prevent default; 30 times with a Democrat in the White House, 49 times under a Republican President. In fact, under President Trump, Congress took action to address the debt limit three times and did so without drama. Today’s action should be no different.”
Freedom First Society: Why is there a debt limit? It should serve as a reminder that government debt needs to be controlled. It is just not an obstacle to be overcome regularly on the road to ever greater spending that can’t otherwise be funded. To be sure, government should pay its debts, but it must also take action to keep debt under control. No such action is contemplated, therefore the responsible action is to vote “no” and force plans to rollback unconstitutional spending and retire debt.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Committee on Rules:
“In 2018, Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, Whip Clyburn, and 116 other House Democrats voted to default on the debt, shut down the government, and refuse disaster relief to devastated communities across America like mine….
“Make no mistake, Democrats have known this day has been coming for 2 years and did absolutely nothing. They passed no budget, passed no appropriations bills, and they didn’t spend a moment in bipartisan outreach to address the debt ceiling….
“Make no mistake, the debt ceiling is not merely about paying for past spending, it is about making room for new wasteful spending, trillions that will pour more fuel on the inflation fire that marks Joe Biden’s Presidency, the highest rate in decades, that has robbed families of their real wage gains from the past 3 years.”
Freedom First Society: Rep. Brady makes some good points here. But he also perpetuates the deception that this is wholly a Democrat problem. It’s not! He also doesn’t mention that a return to the Constitution must be the standard. Nor can his remarks, buried in the Congressional Record, have any impact on the voting public from which change must come. His remarks certainly won’t impact the Democrat reps. The function of these so-called debates is not to develop more reasoned policy; they are designed only to be cited to impress constituents.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), House Financial Services Committee:
“Madam Speaker, it is not compassionate to bankrupt America. That is exactly what this plan does. It equips this country with more debt to pay for the past debt with no plan to pay for the future debt. The only thing is more debt. It is a debt bomb, and it is something that this body has an obligation to stop.
“This country is on auto pilot for a crash site, and the only plan is to keep riding on auto pilot right into the crash site. The whole point of the debt ceiling is to force this body to do its duty and to come up with a plan to not default.
“The only question isn’t whether we default tomorrow, which we shouldn’t, of course we should pay our debts, but we shouldn’t default in the future either. And unless we come up with a different course of action, this is going to ride all the way to the crash site.
“I will oppose this, and I encourage all of my colleagues to do the same, and we should continue to oppose it until there is a plan to avert the crisis in the crash that is coming. Don’t bankrupt America.”
Freedom First Society: As far as Rep. Davidson went, he is right on. But there is more to the story that must be told and it must be told to voters. Rep. Davidson doesn’t tell us why we have this problem. The answer is a Conspiracy that has control of both parties and seeks to bankrupt Americans and build a federal monster en route to total dictatorial control.
Rep. Kevin Brady again:
“And another gentle reminder to the American public, our Democratic friends have known this day has been coming for 2 years. This is a crisis that they created. Didn’t bother to pass a budget, didn’t do their appropriations bill, no bipartisan outreach. Waited again and again for this cliff and created this crisis. It has been frustrating to watch this go on.”
Freedom First Society: Rep. Brady deceives us by painting the climbing debt ceiling as purely a Democrat problem. This has been going on for decades. We can recall a campaign long ago by patriots with a bumper sticker: “No Trillion Dollar National Debt.” Just the proposed increase is the debt ceiling is now 2.5 times that! Clearly, Congress, including Republicans will not stop our road to disaster without much more informed grassroots pressure from back home.
Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.), Budget Committee:
“Madam Speaker, I rise today to oppose this $2.5 trillion debt limit increase which this Congress is voting on without any discussion of how this debt will ever be repaid.
“Over the past year, Congress’ record levels of spending has sparked record-breaking inflation. Just last week, our nation hit its highest inflation rate in 40 years with current annual inflation for the twelve months ending in November at 6.8%. As a consequence, real average hourly earnings decreased by half a percent in November. Surging costs for food, energy, housing, and other items have left the average American family reeling. In my California district, the average price of a tank of gasoline has increased over $20 since January, while the price of natural gas is up more than 25 percent.
“Congress is not only spending at a level that is well beyond our self-imposed limits, but also beyond what our economy can safely handle, and Madam Speaker, instead of reducing our spending and finding places to save as any American family would, this institution is working to push through another multi-trillion-dollar social spending package that would drive our debt and our inflation further into crisis.”
Freedom First Society: Rep. Obernolte cites small stuff. Much more importantly, we need Congress to respect the Constitution. Phasing out unauthorized unconstitutional spending could reduce the size of government by more that 80% and unleash incredible prosperity.
Rep. Obernolte continues:
“Madam Speaker, this unconscionable spending is the epitome of irresponsible governance. We must take measures to end this reckless spending and put our financial house in order. To that end I have introduced two bills that the House might better spend its time considering in the coming weeks instead of continuing debate on the reckless social spending bill.”
Freedom First Society: Congress can’t debate itself to responsibility. The American people need to be informed and elect a better Congress and hold their congressmen’s feet to the fire: Vote the Constitution or count on election opposition.
As one of his bills, Rep. Obernolte proposes a nice-sounding, but distracting Balanced Budget Amendment. Congress is ignoring the Constitution. An Amendment won’t change that, particularly one that include “off-ramps … in times of crisis.” Significantly, Rep. Obernolte distracts from the source of the problem – a Congress, under pressure from the Conspiracy, that supports unconstitutional government and spending. He should look at his own poor record of voting according to the Constitution.