Pfluger on Passage of Fiscal Responsibility Act
With just a slim majority and Democrat control of the Senate and White House, I am proud of the conservative wins we secured in the bill after President Biden wasted 97 days refusing to negotiate while putting our nation on the brink of default.
House Republicans negotiated aggressively to get the best deal possible for hardworking Americans. We held the line and made it clear that we would not allow the Democrats’ unchecked spending addiction to continue. Since President Biden took office, the deficit has grown by $6 trillion—bringing our national debt to a disastrous $31 trillion. This spending is not only unsustainable but is causing record-high inflation forcing every American family to make hard choices on the essentials like gas, groceries, and electricity.
While not perfect, this legislation is the biggest spending reduction bill in history. It includes $2 trillion in cuts, claws back tens of billions in unspent COVID-19 funds, protects our seniors, veterans, and the military, gets people back to work and off welfare, defunds the additional IRS agents President Biden intended to unleash on the American people, restarts student loan repayments, and importantly for our district, cuts red tape to streamline energy & infrastructure projects.
The legislation includes the first major reforms in 40 years to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which has been weaponized against the Permian Basin and the oil & gas industry. I take my commitment to our district extremely seriously and am extremely proud of the work I did to secure these major reforms to end the bureaucratic nightmare across federal agencies.
At least 229 major fossil fuel projects in the United States are currently awaiting permit approval. These are projects that could boost American energy production, restore American energy independence, and bring down costs for all Americans. The White House website admits that projects take nearly 10 years to complete, with the permitting approval process wasting about seven to eight years.
No more. 229 energy projects will be sped up by this vote. Pipelines sitting idle for years will be brought online. $157 billion in energy investments will be unlocked. A quarter of a million new jobs await American workers. Billions in tax revenue will come into the treasury. This is how we grow the economy. We can build, expand, improve, and most importantly—producers in the Permian can drill—now.
We also secured federal welfare work requirements. No longer will our country pay able-bodied Americans between the ages of 18-54 to sit at home and receive a paycheck. We are restoring the dignity of work and lifting these individuals out of the welfare system.
Some important opponents to the bill include left-wing radicals Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representatives Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) because it helps the oil & gas industry and stops paying people to sit at home. AOC said, “I mean, where do we start? [No] clean debt ceiling. Work requirements. Cuts to programs. I would never – I would never – vote for that.” Jayapal said: “There will be impacts for environmental justice and the fight against the climate crisis and the recisions in funding.” Elizabeth Warren was equally distressed by the conservative wins in the bill, saying the provisions were “really bad.”
Again, this is not a perfect bill, but it was an important 'first down' for our side. We will continue to work to pass a budget that balances in 10 years and will be holding the Democrats’ feet to the fire in appropriation bills to further cut our spending and get us on a fiscal trajectory to save this country.