Remarks at Press Conference with Blue Dogs, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer Calling on Republicans to Uphold Promise of Fiscal Discipline

Dec 14, 2017
Press Release

Yesterday, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer joined the Blue Dog Coalition for a press conference on the state of the U.S. national debt and the fact that Republicans are making it worse by attempting to jam through a tax bill that will add at least $1.5 trillion to the debt. Accounting for interest paid on the national debt, the real cost of the tax bill could be upwards of $2 trillion.

As of this week, the U.S. national debt is almost $20.5 trillion, and every American man, woman and child holds a share of about $62,780 of the debt.

The press conference can be viewed here. Below is a transcript:

Press Conference Calling on Republicans to Uphold Their Promise of Fiscal Discipline
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and the Blue Dog Coalition
HVC Studio A, United States Capitol
December 13, 2017

REP. JIM COSTA (CA-16), BLUE DOG CO-CHAIR: “Good afternoon, I’m Jim Costa. I’m one of the three co-chairs of the Blue Dog Caucus. I’m joined here with our colleagues Congressman Henry Cuellar—one of the other three co-chairs—and Congressman Dan Lipinski from Illinois. And we also have our members Mike Thompson, Sanford Bishop, and Kurt Schrader, and Brad Schneider. We’re pleased to be joined by our Minority Whip—our good friend—Congressman Steny Hoyer, who has been a close ally of the Blue Dogs over the years.

“And we’re here to talk about one of the issues that is a pillar of the Blue Dog Caucus, which is our commitment to fiscal discipline for our nation. And with this abomination of a tax measure that has been rushed through the Congress—both in the House and in the Senate—with our Republican colleagues and little transparency, I think it’s important that we tie the issues together in terms of our desire to have a bipartisan effort as it relates to fiscal discipline and its impact on America’s debt.

“And so we’d like to begin by having Congressman Steny Hoyer lead our comments here today—Steny.”

DEMOCRATIC WHIP STENY HOYER: “Thank you very much, Jim. I want to thank Jim Costa, his predecessors, and present members of the Blue Dogs who have been very focused on the fiscal sustainability of our finances in America and the impact of debt on our country.

“Debt held by the public now stands at $14 trillion or 77% of the size of our entire economy. Yet, Republicans in the House and Senate want to add another $1.7 trillion with a tax bill that isn’t paid for. Very frankly, if this were a Democratic bill, there would not be a single Republican that would vote for it because they would say it was fiscally irresponsible.

“When they say it’s time to invest in our people and our economy, the Republicans’ refrain is predictable—we can’t afford it. And by the way, investment in education and welfare and infrastructure is not dynamically scored. Well, our children and grandchildren can’t afford to go $1.7 trillion further into debt to give tax breaks to those who need them the least.

“This is not about class warfare. Everybody I know wants to be rich, including me. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten there yet, but I want to be rich, and I will pay my fair share of taxes, as I do now. But this is about Paul Ryan saying there are struggling Americans – $59,000 is a family and they need some help. Well, Mr. Speaker, why are you giving approximately 70% of the $1.7 trillion you’re borrowing not to those struggling families, but to those making $900,000 or better? I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve got a thought that the Speaker doesn’t have an answer to that either.

“Republicans claim their tax cuts will pay for themselves, citing the magic of dynamic scoring. Now I’ve been here for a few years and I was here in 1981, and when I came to the Congress, the debt was less than a trillion dollars. To be precise, $934 billion in debt. And then Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, for whom our Speaker worked and talked about supply side economics and said if you only cut taxes magically, we would have more revenue than we needed and balance the budget. Under Ronald Reagan the debt went up 189%, more than any of the five Presidents with whom I’ve served. One hundred and eighty-nine percent.

“Now let me tell you why that’s so relevant, because a President is the only one who can stop spending in its tracks. Since I’ve come to the Congress we have never overridden a veto of a President who alleged we were spending too much money. Not once in the 37 years that I’ve been here has a President’s veto been overridden. Bush One, who only had four years, continued the economic policies of the Reagan Administration which he had previously called ‘voodoo economics.’ He was right the first time, and he increased the debt 55%.

“And then Bush II, I’ve skipped over Clinton but I’ll come back to him. Bush II increased the debt by 86%, notwithstanding his two tax cuts which were supposed to give us such a robust economy and what it gave us was the worst economy anybody in this room or anybody in this Capitol today, if they’re less than 90 years of age, has experienced.

“So Obama inherited a huge, cratering economy, an economy hemorrhaging 787,000 jobs a year the year he took office in 2009. So we invested in bringing us out of recession and we did, we had the longest growth of jobs, straight months growth of jobs in history, and he increased the debt 88% - 2% more than George Bush in good times.

“What did Bill Clinton do? Bill Clinton came into office in ’93, raised taxes slightly to invest infrastructure, the gasoline tax, 1993. He increased the debt 36%. Less than any President with whom I’ve served and he had the best economy of any of the Presidents with whom I’ve served and we had four years of balanced budgets. How we lament the loss of those balanced budgets.

“We know its necessary to get tax reform - we’re for tax reform. But we’re for fiscally responsible tax reform. As we did in 1986 when we had a balanced, no additional revenue lost in the 1986 bill, zero sum, big reform. It should be done in a bipartisan way, but it’s not working in that way now. We haven’t done anything in a bipartisan way hardly. It’s the same promise Republicans made when they passed those tax cuts in ’01 and ’03 and just a few years later we experienced the worst economic recession in our lifetimes.

“The Republican tax proposals’ fiscal irresponsibility poses a threat to the long term fiscal health of our country. This is precisely why Democrats worked to enact statutory PAYGO in 2010, and the Blue Dogs were the leader on statutory PAYGO. And it was the right thing to do to make sure we didn’t go more deeply into debt and what Statutory PAYGO says, if we pass this bill, we’ll have to cut Medicare next year, next month, January, by $25 billion. What do the Republicans say? Oh, we’re going to waive that. What’s another $25 billion in debt? We’ll just waive it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Blue Dogs continue to be the leaders on fiscal responsibility, and I want you to know who very much appreciates it: my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. They appreciate the fact that the Blue Dogs want to pay our bills, which is tough to do but it’s the morally and fiscally right thing to do. Thank you to my friend Jim Costa and thank you Blue Dogs.”

REP. COSTA: “Thank you very much, Steny. And thank you for being a close ally and friend of all of ours. You know, I tease our Republican friends these days as these tax bills are going through and about the deficit. I said, ‘I think I finally get it. Deficits matter under Democratic administrations. But under Republican administrations, they don’t seem to matter at all.’

“Our nation has been on an unsustainable path, as Steny noted. As a result, our national debt’s the largest it’s ever been—over $20 trillion. This works out to an average of $62,780 in debt for every man, woman, and child in America. It’s outrageous. It’s a completely unacceptable amount of debt.  And we have it because of irresponsible governing and a lack of political courage. It’s real simple.

“Sadly, this Congress has chosen to continue that unsustainable path and this fiscal course without any efforts to pursue a bipartisan effort.

“The tax cut legislation that our Republican colleagues are attempting to ram through Congress here in the last week before the holiday season—before Christmas—could bring back trillion dollar deficits as early as next year.

“Even without this boondoggle of giveaways masquerading as tax cuts for the middle class, under the current law, our deficit today is over $600 billion this year, and $700 billion next year.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. This irresponsibility is not what we ought to be doing. We can be fiscally-responsible, and we should be—we must be—for the future generations of Americans.

“But to change course, we must stop talking, stop digging this bigger hole that we’re in. I’ve got a farmer friend of mine, and he’s got a theory on holes—spelled H-O-L-E-S. He says, ‘Once you find yourself in one, just stop.’ Some people think you’ve got to keep digging harder and faster—which is what this dynamic scoring is all about – that somehow you’re going to get out of that hole. It’s not happening.

“Congress should begin by rejecting this harmful tax cut proposal, and instead work toward true reform. Blue Dogs believe in true tax reform for the middle class, and we could lower the corporate tax. There’s a lot of things we could do on a bipartisan basis, but the other party has chosen not to do that.

“Earlier this year, the Blue Dogs released our tax reform principles—which my colleagues will talk about—earlier, that was truly revenue neutral and didn’t rely on these kind of rosy economic assumptions to justify tax cuts—these three to four percent growth rates every year, annually.

“I asked the Chairman when he made a presentation – it was about three or four months ago. I said, ‘Does it—is it neutral?’ He said, ‘Well, Jim, in the first five years we lose money. But in the second five years, with the result of dynamic scoring, and with a three to four percent growth rate, it will be neutral.’ I said, ‘God bless you. But if we Democrats proposed that, you’d laugh us off the floor—and justifiably so.’

“Congress should then take up a balanced budget amendment to prevent this issue from getting worse, like the amendment proposed by our fellow Blue Dog, Stephanie Murphy from Florida, who wanted to speak on it, but others will comment.

“And then we’d have to move to implement targeted reforms for government spending—both mandatory and discretionary. They’re tough votes to cast. But in that way, in a bipartisan effort, you can contribute to economic growth and America’s future—just as occurred during the Clinton administration.

“It’s tough work. It requires political courage, and it requires reaching across the aisle.

“Unfortunately, those characteristics seem to be in short supply in Congress today. John F. Kennedy wrote that great book ‘Profiles in Courage.’ We don’t see a lot of that—profiles in courage—around Congress these days.

“The last time we had an opportunity to address our colleagues on this challenge was in 2012, when our colleague Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee presented a budget resolution similar to the recommendations under the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission. That plan would have reduced the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years.

“Sadly, then, the political courage was also in short supply—we got 38 votes for it. And some of us were among the 38 votes that were cast for that—that version of the Simpson Bowles proposal. And we were attacked by political groups on the left and right for taking that vote. But that vote was the right thing to do, and I’m proud that I took it.

“Congress has a chance to do the right thing. We need to come together, as Democrats and Republicans, to put our nation’s fiscal house back in order for the sake of all Americans, for the sake of America’s future, for our children.

“The Blue Dogs have had a long history of standing for fiscal responsibility—even when it was hard—and bridging the divide between Republicans and Democrats in Congress is what we believe we ought to be doing. So I stand here today with my colleagues, ready to reach across the aisle to tackle our nation’s debt and deficit. That’s what good governance and responsible leadership is all about.

“Now, among my colleagues here, I’d like to introduce one of the two other co-chairs, Congressman Henry Cuellar from Texas.”

REP. HENRY CUELLAR (TX-28), BLUE DOG CO-CHAIR: “Thank you, Jim. Good afternoon. For eight years, starting the day President Obama was sworn into office, our Republican colleagues sounded the alarm on our national debt. They said, ‘We’re mortgaging our children’s futures.’ ‘The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country.’ ‘It is the greatest threat to our national security.’

“And frankly, as Blue Dogs, we agreed with these points. These calls for fiscal discipline even fed to the start of the Tea Party Movement. In fact, fiscal discipline was one of the main platforms Republicans campaigned on in 2010. Those Republicans defeated many of our fellow Blue Dogs because the American people trusted that they would go to Congress and address the serious threat of our rising national debt.

“This was all despite the fact that, Congress had produced, under a Democratic majority in Congress—House and Senate—and President Obama signed several pieces of legislation—bipartisan legislation—to rein in our deficits, including the Pay-As-You-Go.

“The big difference when we had the original Pay-As-You-Go, under the Clinton administration, was that it was temporary. And if you recall, in 20—I think it was 2001—they let it expire, so they could go ahead and put the prescription by the party on a credit card. And of course, you know, we had a couple of wars after that all put on a credit card.

“The difference with the bipartisan legislation that we passed was it was permanent—the Pay-As-You-Go. And again, it was a Blue Dog idea back in the 1990s and it was our idea on the recent one that we passed.

“So now, of course, we’re asking the question to our Republican friends, ‘What’s happened?’ You know, ‘What are your voters telling you? Aren’t they asking you to address this particular issue?’ And it’s a big issue, and again, I don’t want to go over the numbers because I think Steny has some of the best numbers as to how they grew. And in fact deficits grew more under Republican administrations than Democratic administrations.

“And this is why we are asking that we put the focus on our national debt. And the Blue Dogs have been very consistent for many years, and surely I stand here with my friends.

“At this time, the other co-chair is Dan Lipinski from Illinois, and thank you for the work you’ve been doing.”

REP. DAN LIPINSKI (IL-03), BLUE DOG CO-CHAIR: “Thank you, Henry, and thank you, Jim. And I want to thank all the Blue Dogs who are up here. And I especially want to thank Steny Hoyer for being a stalwart on this issue. Year-in, year-out, he has never wavered on the issue of the importance of being fiscally disciplined and not running up our debt.

“When the Blue Dogs put out our principles for tax reform, one of our principles was that tax reform must be revenue neutral—credibly revenue neutral.

“We were told a few months ago by Secretary Mnuchin that the plan was going to bring in $2 trillion—even before there was a plan. That it would bring in $2 trillion, so we can spend that much in this bill and still be revenue neutral.

“Then Republicans set up a partisan process whereby the bill could cost $1.5 trillion. Again, promising us, ‘Well, don’t worry. That money will be made up—and we’re going to show you. We’re going to show the analysis that is going to bring in at least $1.5 trillion. So it’s going to be revenue neutral.’

“So, what happened? The House has a bill. The Senate has a bill. So we have actual language. The Joint Committee on Taxation analyzes both bills—using dynamic scoring—and low and behold, it’s still costs a trillion dollars. Both bills were in the trillion dollar range for cost. Even the right-leaning Tax Foundation did their own analysis, and found about a trillion dollars in cost. No one was finding the revenue being made up through either the House or the Senate bills.

“But the Trump Administration kept talking about this analysis that the Treasury Department had. They had this analysis that shows it’s going to raise money. It’s certainly not going to be bringing us into any more debt. The Blue Dog Coalition called on the Department of Treasury to release this analysis. Other Democrats called for the release of this analysis. Finally, Treasury released something, a one page—they like these very simple, so-called analyses—a one page paper that attempted to wish away the debt. No real analysis in there.

“Back in ’86, when the last real tax reform was done, there were hundreds of pages of analysis that Treasury produced. Now we get one page of wishful thinking. This is an irresponsible way to govern and to enact legislation that is going to impact every single person today and—because of the debt that it’s loading on—into generations in the future.

“We know the House and the Senate bills aren’t fiscally responsible, and I’m sure we’ll see with what’s come out today, with the conference report, that it doesn’t seem any different.  It’s still going to be adding a tremendous amount of debt onto Americans today and into the future. This is simply unacceptable.

“And we as Blue Dogs stand up here today and say so—to call out the Republicans and say that we need the fiscal discipline that we’ve been hearing all these years from Republicans. You need to show the fiscal discipline. And this tax bill is not only irresponsible in the way it moves money around—the winners and losers—but it’s also irresponsible for all the debt that it adds on to future generations.

“So we’re calling on Republicans to stop. We’ll see if they have the votes—hopefully they don’t have the votes—so we can come back and do real bipartisan tax reform.”

REP. COSTA: “Congressman Mike Thompson, a long-term, long-time Blue Dog. Glad to have you, Mike.”

REP. MIKE THOMPSON (CA-05): “I’m proud to be a long-time Blue Dog, and as has been stated, we stand for fiscal responsibility. And I’m also a member of the Ways and Means Committee. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, that’s the tax-writing committee.

“And I want to emphasize what a couple of my colleagues said. Number one: this bill represents a bastardization of the process in Congress. This bill was jammed through. There were no hearings. We had no expert witnesses. This thing was written by a few members of the House in a closed room somewhere, and rolled out to the committee. No hearing—no hearing at all.

“And remember, if history is any indicator, this is going to be with us for a long time. The last rewrite of the tax bill has been with us for about 30 years. So here we’re doing policy that’s going to affect every single American for probably 30 years to come—without a single hearing, without hearing from a single expert witness, on a bill that was written in private.

“And the idea of this press conference is to talk about the debt. And as someone earlier said, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Well, this bill doesn’t represent anyone stopping the digging. This continues the digging. And the number that’s been used here—the $1.5 trillion—that’s what this bill costs. But if you add interest to that—and that’s very real and it’s part of the calculation—the cost to the national debt jumps up to about $2.3 trillion. And that’s important to point out.

“Steny and I were just in a hearing on this bill that the Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee held, and a very highly respected economist was there, Mark Zandi, who was the financial advisor to John McCain in his presidential campaign. And he said something that I don’t know everybody picked up on right away. But he said you have $2.3 trillion at today’s interest rates. But this is going to drive up interest rates, and when the Fed recalculates those interest rates, it could even go higher.

“Well, when I was standing, listening to Dan talk, it came over my iPhone. The Fed just increased the interest rates. So the $2.3 trillion number is stale. It’s going to cost even more than that.

“And it’s important to note that—on the heels of jamming this bill through, without any hearings, without any witnesses—the Speaker stated just the other day that now, because of the national debt, they’re going to have to come back and revisit this and cut programs to make up that difference. Now, what programs would they cut? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans’ benefits—those are all what are called entitlement programs, but programs that people worked for and paid into. And those are going to be cut. And we know what that means when that happens.

“We know that not only the individuals who are counting on those programs—not only do they get hurt, but their families get hurt as well. And we heard in that hearing today from a veteran who served two tours in combat, wearing the uniform of the United States military. Put his life on the line and now works for veterans. He told us exactly what these cuts are going to mean for veterans who are returning home, trying to get a job, trying to get health care.

“This is shameful. It needs to be stopped. We need to work together to do real tax reform that will benefit the American people. That will lay a path for our future. And doesn’t put the bill to our children and grandchildren.”

REP. HOYER: “Mike, remind them what Jason Furman said about the hearing—the first and only hearing.”

REP. THOMPSON: “Yeah, today was the first and only hearing that we’ve had. There’s been no hearing. And the two outstanding economists there—one a Republican economist, I mentioned. There was a graduate student, who outlined what this is going to—what’s going to be taken away from people who are trying to improve their lives through enhancing their education. And then our veteran witness, who laid out clearly how much this is going to hurt veterans—the people who put their life on the line for America.”

REP. KURT SCHRADER (OR-05): “Thanks, Mike. Yeah, this is horrible. I mean if I—when I got into Congress eight years ago, if you told me we were going to be dealing with a Republican-led tax cut proposal that added $1.5 trillion to the debt, I’d have thought you were crazy.

“Apparently, when the presidency was occupied by a Democrat, it was a big deal—debt and deficits were a big deal. Admiral Mullen, back in the day indicated when he was Joint Chiefs of Staff that the greatest threat to our country was the debt and deficit. It wasn’t ISIS. It wasn’t North Korea. It was the debt we’re foisting on our kids and grandkids. It will drive our interest rate up, and it will be totally consuming of all of our discretionary spending as we go forward here.

“My Republican friends say ‘Oh well, you know, that was Obama, and you Democrats for eight years.’ I remind them ‘You controlled Congress for six out of those eight years—and you completely control it now. Apparently, when you control the presidency, the House and the Senate, debts and deficits don’t matter anymore.’

“And, as alluded to, 1.5—no, it’s probably 2.3 plus—and even with their vaunted dynamic scoring, that they didn’t want to do with the Affordable Care Act, that would have saved lives with preventative health care.

“With their dynamic scoring, they’re all about ‘Oh it’s going to pay for itself. It’s going pay for itself.’ With unrealistic growth rates no one—no one—is believing these days. You’ve got the Wharton School of Business talking about a 0.7 percent growth rate, maybe, over these next few years. I mean, far short of what they’re claiming is going to actually happen here.

“My home state of Oregon—now that 1.5 trillion—that’s an additional $5,000 per Oregonian added to the debt that’s already been accrued as a result of the Great Recession and many other administrations before us.

“Where are my conservative Republican friends? How can they go home and talk to their constituents? I just don’t get it. Do we have, you know, selective amnesia with regard to the greatest threat to our country?

“And, as pointed out, past efforts have done yeomen’s work in terms of engagement, bipartisanship. You know, there were months and months of hearings back in 1986, 450 witnesses, 26 days of mark up, lots of debate. Businesses, families, we could all engage in that discussion to find out where we’re going and what’s good for us.

“And as Steny alluded to, we’re adding insult to injury. My Republicans are assuming, ‘Well, that $25 billion cut to Medicare, we’ll just waive PAYGO. We’ll pretend that doesn’t happen.’

“Are we really going to do that in addition to the trillions of dollars we’re putting on to the next generation?

“I don’t think we should waive PAYGO. I don’t think we should just waive that. We should just make sure—as was discussed in the Senate, to some degree in the House—that if that growth rate doesn’t take care of the debt and deficit deduction, that our Republican colleagues talked about, that we should have some automatic increases in corporate rate, and particularly on the wealthy.

“I just heard today, they’re doubling down on showing America this isn’t really about cutting taxes for the wealthy. Their rate goes down today—that’s ridiculous.

“Now I’m just aghast at what’s going on here. It’s voodoo economics on steroids, and a travesty that Republicans in the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and the Presidency, are going for this. I hope to see the headwinds prevail. Because we’re all in favor of deficit-neutral tax reform. I’ve talked about that on the House floor and how we can actually do it.

“I yield to Sanford.”

REP. SANFORD BISHOP (GA-02): “Thank you very much. As members of the Blue Dog Coalition, we are dedicated—and have always been dedicated—to fiscal responsibility, financial stability, and national security of our country—and not withstanding partisan political positions or personal fortune.

“At over twenty and half trillion dollars, the current federal debt and budget deficit is simply unsustainable.

“As Kurt just mentioned, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, noted that the single most significant threat to our national security is our debt. Over 40 percent of our publicly held national debt is owned by foreign governments. As a result, funding for our budgetary priorities and our country’s requirements is supplied by countries such as China, Japan, Ireland, Brazil, and the Cayman Islands.

“In addition to having to rely on foreign nations to fund our budgetary priorities, the national debt crowds out the needed investments in our nation’s infrastructure, in education, national defense, health care, agriculture, and the safety net programs for our citizens. We are actually borrowing money to pay for our national defense. And in the case of the tax bill, we are borrowing money from foreign countries to give money to the wealthy one percent of this country and to corporations in tax cuts.

“In my home state of Georgia—where I had my fiscal and legislative upbringing—our state constitution requires that we have a balanced budget. We cannot spend more than we expect to collect in revenue. This has resulted in Georgia having the highest bond rating of any state in the country. Unfortunately, Washington does not hold these same Georgia values of fiscal responsibility.

“We must rethink this deficit-exploding tax bill that adds over one and a half trillion dollars to the debt. This bill provides tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy and corporations, on the backs of our children, our grandchildren, and the middle-class taxpayers. It explodes the national debt. It puts budgetary pressure on key programs as you have heard: including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and our veterans programs.

“As an institution, we in Congress are at a moment of truth. The time is now to put our political differences aside and to finally find common ground to address the national debt and to get our fiscal house in order.

“I yield to my good friend. Mr. Brad Schneider.”

REP. BRAD SCHNEIDER (IL-10): “Thank you, and I want to thank my colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition for their focus and their leadership on this issue.

“As has been touched on by a couple of people already, our national debt is absolutely a national security issue. My fellow co-chair on the National Defense Task Force, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, and I have discussed how the debt threatens Americans’ national security, diminishes American leadership, and reduces our ability to achieve our global objectives to protect our national interests.

“Unsustainable deficits restrict and weaken our hand when dealing with virtually every single one of the serious international challenges we face, including addressing global climate change. The fact is that our nation’s fiscal health and our national security are inextricably intertwined, and it’s imperative that we take action against the growing threat. We need to act now.

“Sadly, that’s not what we’re seeing from this Congress. As we approach the threat of another government shutdown, the top priority from our Republican colleagues is a tax hike bill that increases our debt by a whopping one and a half trillion dollars.

“Even under the most generous economic growth, this bill adds a trillion dollars to our deficit. What’s worse is that the bill explodes our deficit, while simultaneously raising taxes on middle-class families, and eliminating the state and local tax deduction that’s needed in high-tax states like my home state of Illinois.

“The bill was crafted behind closed doors, without any bipartisan hearing—input—or as you’ve heard, without any hearings. This is no way to reform our tax code that touches literally every aspect of our economy.

“We in the Blue Dog Coalition remain ready and willing to work with our colleagues across the aisle to craft true tax reform—true bipartisan tax reform that grows our economy without adding to our debt and threatening our national security.

“The debt has consequences—and it will be paid for by the next generation and generations after that. I urge my colleagues to join me to chart a more fiscally sustainable, fiscally responsible path forward.

“And with that, I yield back to our chairman.”