Feb. 15 (UPI) — The White House on Wednesday alleged that while congressional Republican leaders insist reducing the national debt is among their highest priorities, the GOP legislative agenda actually would add more than $3 trillion to the national debt.
In a statement, the White House said GOP House leaders’ want to extend expiring Trump-era tax cuts would add $2.7 trillion to the national debt. Those tax cuts gave households with annual incomes of $4 million or more a $175,000 per year tax cut.
The first Republican House bill passed would have cut money for the IRS intended to increase delinquent tax collections. The White House said if implemented, that bill would increase the national debt by $114 billion.
The White House said Republicans are also advocating and proposing repealing tax increases on large corporations that would add $296 billion to the national debt.
The Republican agenda also calls for repealing reforms the Biden administration said would increase what Medicare pays to big drug companies, raising the national debt by another $159 billion while raising prescription drug costs for seniors.
In January the Biden administration said raising the national debt ceiling is non-negotiable, because raising it is a constitutional duty of Congress to pay for United States financial obligations that have already been incurred.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen notified congressional leaders that she is already taking “extraordinary measures” to make sure there’s enough money to meet existing U.S. obligations. If the U.S. debt ceiling isn’t raised in time, she warned it could cause “irreparable harm to the U.S. economy.”
During the Trump administration, Republicans in Congress did make budget cutting a priority as the national debt soared. When Trump took office the national debt was $19.9 trillion. When Biden took office four years later the debt had increased to nearly $28 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.
The White House statement Wednesday said the American people “deserve to see Congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan and compare it with the president’s budget plan”, which he will release March 9.
House GOP Budget Chair Rep. Jodey Arrington is drafting a budget document for March expected to lay out what Republicans want to negotiate before lifting the debt ceiling. But Arrington acknowledges that Republicans are also responsible for the national debt, not just Democrats.
“Putting balanced budgets on paper and beating our chests about fiscal responsibility in a party that has also contributed to the problem – not interested,” he said.