Home News Op-Ed: Conservatives Win in The Debt Ceiling Fight

Op-Ed: Conservatives Win in The Debt Ceiling Fight


Rep. Brad Wenstrup Op-Ed

For nearly 100 days, President Biden refused to even talk to
Republicans about lifting the debt ceiling. Both publicly and privately,
he demanded a “clean” increase to our national debt limit, rejecting
even a conversation about spending cuts or reforms. Fortunately,
President Biden relented and America won.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act, which passed in the House and the Senate
on a bipartisan basis, was only possible because House Speaker Kevin
McCarthy and House Republicans passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act that
demonstrated our commitment to reform safety net programs and cut
out-of-control government spending. We brought President Biden to
the table and negotiated a deal with an incredible number of common-
sense conservative wins, in spite of the fact that House Republicans
only control one half of one third of the legislative process. We did this
by showing that the majority of Americans are on our side. Sixty
percent of Americans agree – Congress should raise the debt ceiling
only if spending cuts are included in the deal.
That’s why we were able to negotiate the most significant deficit
reduction in a decade, actually reducing how much the government
spends from one year to the next. This legislation reduces federal
deficit spending by $2.1 trillion over the next six years. We made critical
reforms to a number of welfare programs and regulations, and got
President Joe Biden to agree to no new taxes. We clawed back the most
taxpayer dollars ever, including billions of dollars in unspent COVID-19
funds. We expanded work requirements for government assistance in
order to lift more Americans out of poverty and bring able-bodied
Americans back into the workforce. We ensured that President Biden
can’t continue pausing student loan repayments or follow through on
his plans to hire an army of new IRS enforcement agents this year.

We cut red tape in order to speed up federal permitting regulations for
the first time in 40 years so that America can reclaim our energy
independence and more quickly build needed infrastructure like roads,
bridges, and pipelines, including projects like the Brent Spence Bridge in
Southwest Ohio.
The alternatives were dire: either defaulting on our debt, risking severe
economic consequences, or accepting Biden’s plan for a “clean” debt
increase with no reforms to our nation’s spending addiction. Every
single spending cut and reform in this bill was passed over President
Biden’s objections. If I thought voting “no” would have gotten us an
even better deal, I would have. The truth is that defeating this deal
would have put President Biden and his negotiators back in the driver’s
seat towards more spending and greater inflation. I’m quite certain we
wouldn’t have achieved any reforms to welfare, spending cuts, or the
conservative wins that we did with the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
This is divided government. House Republicans control only one-sixth of
government spending decisions. This is just our first step to get our
country back onto the path of fiscal responsibility. House Republicans
have had less than 150 days in the majority. We reigned in trillions in
spending while there is a Democrat in the White House and Democrats
control the Senate.
We have laid a fiscally responsible, bipartisan foundation with the
passage of this bill. Our next step to bring our fiscal house in order will
be this year’s upcoming appropriations process where we will continue
to cut wasteful spending even further. These first 100 days have been a
powerful example of what House Republicans can accomplish when we
work together advancing conservative values and commonsense fiscal
policy. Our challenge continues for less government over-spending, a
lower national debt, and a brighter future for our children and their

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M., represents Ohio’s 2nd District in the U.S. House
of Representatives, where he is Chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the
Coronavirus Pandemic, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee
on Intelligence and the House Ways and Means Committee. He is also a co-
chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army
Reserve and a veteran of the Iraq War, having served as a combat surgeon.