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Weekly Column: My Plan to Address the National Debt

Recently, our national debt crossed a stunning $34,000,000,000,000.  While some “debt deniers” in Washington seek to ignore the threat this massive number poses, it is undeniable that seniors, our children, grandchildren, and future generations of Americans will be impacted in the absence of solutions.  

Last fiscal year, interest payments on the debt alone totaled a whopping $659 billion. As interest rates rise, the amount we need to finance the debt grows. Interest payments are currently on pace to exceed both defense and non-defense discretionary spending, which includes funding for the Great Lakes, transportation, and our veterans. Despite this gloomy outlook, there is good news! I am happy to share my efforts to get our nation’s fiscal house in order are making headway in Congress.

Earlier this month, the House Budget Committee passed my legislation, known as the Fiscal Commission Act, with bipartisan support! This legislation sets up a debt commission made up of 16 individuals – 12 members of Congress and four outside experts. My legislation also requires both the House and Senate to hold an expedited vote on the commission’s proposal to fix our fiscal situation in the medium and long term.

Sadly, some have claimed a fiscal commission is nothing more than a Trojan horse for cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This is false and nothing more than fearmongering. What will jeopardize these vital programs is maintaining the status quo. According to the Social Security Trustees, the program will become insolvent in less than 10 years.  Under current law, that will result in an automatic cut in Social Security benefits by 24%. That is unacceptable for seniors and individuals who rely on this critical program. Those who propose doing nothing are effectively paving the road to bankruptcy for Social Security and Medicare. A bipartisan, bicameral fiscal commission represents the best opportunity to protect seniors, preserve these crucial programs, and right our fiscal ship.

If you need assistance navigating a federal agency, please contact my office in Holland at (616) 251-6741 or in Portage at (269) 569-8595, and sign up for my newsletter, the Huizenga Huddle, at Huizenga.House.Gov.

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