Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart said the fight over the debt ceiling is a critical opportunity to rein in government spending.
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Stewart pointed out that government spending was the primary driver of skyrocketing inflation. He said he did not want to force a government shutdown but hoped both sides could achieve a workable solution.
“Well, we certainly want to work with [Democrats],” said Stewart. “And we hope that they’ll work with us and the president will work with us. Look, I’m not a fan of government shutdowns. I honestly don’t know anyone who is. It doesn’t help. On the other hand, I do want to make this point, it’s so important, look, the reason that we’re dealing with inflation that we are, which has been generational, and it’s worth remembering that it hurts the poorest among us.”
“[T]here will be Republicans who will say, ‘we need to reform, ‘we need to use this as a vehicle to try to put some limits on our spending and our debt and our deficits,’” he added.
“And I am one of them. And there are many others who will be, so the question that you’ve asked now is, are those two principles, you know, the fact we need to reform and cut our deficits in our spending, can we reconcile that with at the same time, we don’t want to harm the credit the United States government. That’s our goal. I think Republicans are aligned on that. I hope the president is as well. And hopefully we get to agreement on that.”
The federal government is set to hit its statutory debt limit this upcoming Thursday. In a letter to Congressional leaders on Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the government must begin taking “extraordinary measures” to prevent the United States from defaulting on its debts.
The measures expected to be taken this month include suspending new investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, and the Government Securities Investment Fund.
Meanwhile, an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the federal budget must be cut by 26% across the board to balance the budget in the next decade.