Debt Commission’s positive step toward addressing $34 trillion national debt

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By Carina

Congress is taking significant strides toward creating a bipartisan commission focused on the United States’ escalating $34 trillion national debt. 

The Republican-dominated House Budget Committee recently voted in favor of forming a 16-member panel, which includes both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, to propose fiscal policy recommendations and assess federal budget-balancing measures.

Commission targets Medicare and Social Security stability

This commission aims to scrutinize ways to stabilize critical programs like Medicare and Social Security and balance the federal budget at the earliest. 

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It is tasked with conducting six national hearings and delivering a conclusive report with recommendations by May 2025. House Speaker Mike Johnson lauded this move as a step towards “fiscal sanity.”

Rep. Jodey Arrington, Chair of the House Budget Committee, criticized both parties for fiscal irresponsibility. 

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National debt crisis: Congressional opinions, bipartisan commission efforts

“Our unsustainable national debt is the greatest challenge of the 21st century,” he remarked. Democrats, however, like Rep. Brendan Boyle, express concerns over potential cuts to Medicare and Social Security. 

Meanwhile, moderate Democrats like Rep. Scott Peters acknowledge the inevitability of reduced Social Security benefits, emphasizing the commission’s necessity.

In the Senate, a similar initiative is underway, led by Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Joe Manchin. They, along with Reps. Peters and Bill Huizenga have advocated for a bipartisan fiscal commission in an opinion piece, emphasizing the need to preserve critical programs and address the fiscal crisis.

Experts endorse fiscal commission for credible deficit reduction plans

Experts, including those from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, support the establishment of a fiscal commission. 

Brian Riedl of the Manhattan Institute suggests that a bipartisan commission could lend credibility to deficit-reduction plans. 

Maya MacGuineas from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget warns of the urgent need to address the national debt, which has dramatically increased over the past two decades.

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National debt and budget deficit concerns

As per Treasury Department data, the national debt has surpassed $34.072 trillion as of Jan. 19. 

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The U.S. government recorded a significant budget deficit in the first quarter of FY 2024, with substantial spending on national debt interest. 

These developments contrast with President Biden’s claims of reducing the national debt during his tenure, despite an increase of over $6.3 trillion under his administration.

Congressional commission aims to steer US toward fiscal stability

The proposed bipartisan commission represents a crucial effort by Congress to address the spiraling national debt. 

With both parties acknowledging the gravity of the situation, the commission could play a pivotal role in steering the country toward fiscal responsibility and stability.

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