Earlier in the day, the Committee held a markup of the bill. The Fiscal Commission Act was passed out of Committee, leading to an eventual vote on the House floor.
Many House members were present at the press conference, including Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) and bill sponsors Re. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), and Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA).
If passed, the bill would create a bipartisan fiscal commission made up of 16 members. The Senate Majority Leader and Minority Leader each get to select three Senators and one outside expert to serve on the Commission. The Speaker of the House and House Minority Leader each also get to select three House members and one outside expert to sit on the Commission.
The fiscal commission would be used by Congress as a forum to discuss how to halt and reverse the ballooning debt of the federal government, which currently totals $34 trillion.
Rep. Arrington started the press conference by emphasizing the bipartisan desire to address the debt crisis, calling the current debt crisis the outcome of a broken process and a culture in Congress.
However, Arrington and other elected officials present all stated that they are working to fix these problems with the proposed Fiscal Commission.
“I am so proud to stand with the lawmakers and leaders that are here today. I’m very proud of the constructive dialogue that we’ve established in the budget committee”, said Arrington.
“One of the reasons Congress doesn’t do anything is there’s not enough accountability or not enough pressure from districts, from Republican to Democrat, independent, everything along the political spectrum.”, Arrington said.
According to Arrington, the freshly minted GOP Speaker of the House is a “true believer” in the reforms implemented by H.R. 5779 and other related bills.
Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), co-author of the Fiscal Commission Act, spoke to the need to urgently fix the debt situation.
“With interest rates having gone up, we’re now about to spend $663 billion on interest in the year, that comes out of our budget,” said Peters.
Rep. Peters stressed the need for Democrats to want to address the budget problem. He mentioned that Democrats will not be able to pay for many of the social services they wish to provide if they continue to borrow money and pay interest later.
The Committee also held a markup of H.R. 6957, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME).
H.R. 6957, known as the Debt-to-GDP Transparency and Stabilization Act, is another bill that aims to shine a light on America’s debt problem.
Rep. Smucker and Rep. Golden discussed their bill and the debt problem at large.
Many promises Congress gave to Americans, like Social Security and Medicare, will be jeopardized by the growing debt if nothing is done, Golden said.
Echoing the bipartisan tone set earlier, Golden stated that typical partisan politics will not lead to a resolution to the debt problem.
“We need a comprehensive approach that will secure the foundations of our economy, so we can make good on these promises to the American people,” said Golden.
Golden finished his remarks by pointing out many normal American people are concerned and worried by the growing debt, including many of his constituents in Maine’s Second Congressional District.