MCCONNELL: Debt Limit Agreement an “Important Step in the Right Direction”

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding government spending:

“Last night, an overwhelming majority of our House colleagues voted to pass the agreement Speaker McCarthy reached with President Biden.

“In doing so, they took an urgent and important step in the right direction – for the health of our economy and the future of our country.

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act avoids the catastrophic consequences of a default on our nation’s debt. And just as importantly, it makes the most serious headway in years toward curbing Washington Democrats’ reckless spending addiction.

“The bill the House just passed has the potential to cut federal spending by $1.5 trillion dollars. Now, the Senate has the chance to make that important progress a reality.

“Madam President, remember where we were just a few months ago.

“After two years of reckless spending and painful runaway inflation, the American people elected a Republican House majority to serve as a check on Washington Democrats’ power. And it was clear from the outset that preserving the full faith and credit of the United States was going to come down to an agreement that could both pass the people’s House and earn the President’s signature.

“In other words, direct negotiations between Speaker McCarthy and President Biden. Just like I’ve said for months.

“Back in February, Speaker McCarthy got right to work.

“He made it clear to the President he was ready to take serious steps – not only to avoid crisis in the near term, but to put government spending on a more sustainable path for the long term.

“Unfortunately, it took President Biden months to accept this basic reality. But when the President finally came to the table, House Republicans worked hard to secure as many serious spending reforms as possible under divided government. And they produced a deal that moves every key Republican priority in the right direction.

“The Speaker’s agreement cuts domestic discretionary spending while increasing support for veterans and the armed forces.

“It locks in promising reforms to infrastructure permitting. It claws back unspent COVID emergency funds. It slashes bloated spending at the IRS. And it ties future executive branch regulations to new spending cuts.

“The deal the House passed last night is a promising step toward fiscal sanity.

“But make no mistake: there is much more work to be done. The fight to reel in wasteful government spending is far from over.

“Our obligation to provide for the common defense is especially urgent.

“For years, Republicans have led significant investments in improving the readiness of our Armed Forces and modernizing their capabilities to face down emerging threats.

“But since President Biden took office, Republicans have had to fight year after year to ensure we meet the needs of our military.

“Fortunately, we have secured bipartisan recognition that President Biden’s budget requests have under-funded our national defense.

“This was especially true last year, when Republicans secured a substantial, real-dollar increase to defense funding and ended Democrats’ artificial demands for parity with non-defense discretionary spending.

“This bought our military valuable time. But it was hardly a silver bullet.

“As I said yesterday, President Biden’s refusal to let the defense portion of this agreement exceed his insufficient budget request is disappointing.

“So while the coming votes are an important step in the right direction, we cannot neglect our fundamental obligation to address the nation’s most pressing national security challenges.

“Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine continues. Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism against Americans and our partners continues.

“North Korea’s destabilizing nuclear proliferation continues. China’s growing challenge to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific continues.

“So the Senate cannot afford to neglect its obligation to America’s men and women in uniform.

“Our urgent work to help them defend our nation, support our allies, and safeguard our interests remains unfinished.

“And so does our work to bring more of Washington Democrats’ reckless liberal spending to heel.”


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