Congressmen Fred Keller and Jason Smith discuss Dems’ tax-and-spend blowout

October 27, 2021
Press Release
Highlight the Republican alternative for responsible government, fiscal policy

Washington, D.C. – In case you missed it, last evening Congressman Fred Keller (PA-12) and House Budget Committee Ranking Member Jason Smith (MO-08) held a Facebook Live discussion to break down Washington Democrats’ massive, $5.5 trillion spending plan.


Congressmen Keller and Smith discuss the reconciliation bill


(Click to watch)


During the half-hour conversation, Keller and Smith discussed the contents of House Democrats’ forthcoming reconciliation package, which calls for $4.3 trillion in new spending and is projected to add $2.4 trillion to the national debt. The pair also spoke about inflation, the border crisis, rising energy costs, and other negative effects of President Biden’s agenda currently impacting American families.


Ranking Member Smith began the conversation by outlining the details of the proposed spending package and explaining the process of budget reconciliation:


“This spending bill that we have before us, which a lot of people refer to as the reconciliation bill, is the largest spending bill to ever hit committee in the U.S. Congress.”


“There’s $4.3 trillion of spending within it, and it’s the largest tax increase in the history of the United States—all in one single piece of legislation.”


Congressman Keller rebuffed President Biden’s repeated claims that his Build Back Better agenda, despite its multi-trillion-dollar price tag, will actually cost “zero dollars”:


“They (the administration) say this is all going to happen and cost nothing. That, to me, is an indication that they’ve been in Washington, D.C. for far too long.”


Ranking Member Smith highlighted the disconnect between the administration’s rhetoric on the cost of its plan and the actual legislative initiatives that House Democrats are pursuing in order to pay for it:


“There’s $2.1 trillion in this [reconciliation] bill to raise taxes. If it didn’t cost anything, why would they be trying to raise your taxes?”


Congressman Keller brought up the Democrats’ stalled infrastructure proposal, which remains inextricably tied to the larger reconciliation package:


“People who are saying they want infrastructure, I think there’s an important point there—that we’re not just voting on one bill or the other. Those two bills have been linked together.”


Ranking Member Smith explained how these bills became conjoined:


“The infrastructure bill that 19 Republican Senators voted for—it could have passed in July. But Speaker Pelosi and President Biden have tied those together and will not allow either one of them to pass unless they both pass together. That has virtually killed the infrastructure bill.”


“And let’s talk about that infrastructure bill: out of the roughly $650 billion in new spending of that infrastructure bill, more than $400 billion is not paid for.”


Ranking Member Smith also detailed how wasteful government spending has caused rampant inflation:


“Everybody wants roads and bridges, and locks and dams. We believe in infrastructure. We need better infrastructure. It needs to be paid for. But what we also know is that everyone who is watching—everyone who you represent and who I represent—they have seen a large increase in the price of goods because of inflation.”


“We are projected to hit the highest inflation since 1981. That means every person who we represent is paying more to put food on their tables, clothes on their backs, or gas in their cars, and that is the result of reckless government spending.”


Congressman Keller spoke about how the effects of inflation, coupled with President Biden’s anti-energy agenda, have forced Americans to pay more for essential services like heating their homes:


“When you talk about inflation, we’re looking at what it might cost to heat your home this coming winter. They’re talking about around a 50 percent increase [in heating costs].”


“Let’s look at what’s actually caused this to happen; when President Biden got into office, he killed the Keystone XL pipeline, got us back into the Paris Climate Accords, said ‘no’ to energy development in the United States, but called OPEC and said, ‘send us more energy.’”


“Now he’s calling on the energy companies to do something about his failed policies.”


Ranking Member Smith outlined how the reconciliation package would exacerbate each of the various crises with which the United States is currently struggling:


“Our country is facing multiple crises right now. Whether it’s the inflation crisis where we’re expected to have the highest inflation in 40 years, whether it’s the energy crisis, or whether it’s the border crisis. All three of those crises, this reconciliation bill only makes all three of them worse.”


“Within it, there’s all kinds of taxes on energy. Taxes on natural gas, regulatory items which will restrict fossil fuels to a degree that it’s going to raise the costs of energy even more than what’s already projected.”


“Over 1.4 million people have illegally crossed the southern border since Joe Biden became president. Guess what, this reconciliation bill rewards illegals crossing the border. Over $109 billion is used in this bill to provide amnesty for 10 million illegals. It provides free college to illegal immigrants.”


“This only incentivizes people to come to the United States for free stuff, not freedom.”


Congressman Keller brought up a separate provision in the reconciliation bill that would require banks to provide the IRS with the private financial information of every American spending or receiving more than $600 annually:


“Take a look at the 85,000 people that President Biden and Nancy Pelosi want to hire in the IRS to go after Americans. If you spend $28 a day, now you’re going to have the Internal Revenue Service snooping into your bank account.”


Ranking Member Smith shared his thoughts on the provision:


“They want to spy on all Americans. It’s all about command and control over their lives. That is why they are asking for $80 billion to hire the 85,000+ IRS agents so that they can target working class Americans and turn banks into IRS enforcers.”


Ranking Member Smith then translated the United States’ already dire financial situation into the context of a household budget:


“A really good way to understand where we are financially is this: you spend $68,000 a year, but you only make $38,000 a year and you have $298,000 on your credit card. What bank in America would give you a $50,000 loan?”


“That’s where we are as a nation. Right now, we spend $6.8 trillion a year, we bring in only $3.8 trillion, and we have $29 trillion in debt. And they’re trying to raise the debt limit by $5 trillion.”


In his final statement, Congressman Keller defined his vision for a more responsible government:


“We need to get back to what our Founders intended. They didn’t envision it to be a couple of people coming up with this deal and saying, ‘the rest of you have to accept it.’ They envisioned everybody’s Representative and every state’s Senator to be able to have those discussions.”


“That means transparency, it means open discussion, and it means going back to Congress working through regular order and going through the committees of jurisdiction.”


Ranking Member Smith echoed this sentiment in his closing remarks:


“Any time legislation is passed it should have tons of sunshine, where the American people can see what’s in it, and they will be able to influence their Member of Congress or their Senator about whether it’s the right piece of legislation for America.”


“This [reconciliation] bill right now, it’s 2,400 pages; it’s twice the size of The Bible. That should not be the case. Let’s have single-subject pieces of legislation where it’s more open and more transparent.”


You can replay the conversation in its entirety here.



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