A new bipartisan House commission will be formed to tackle the federal budget's scope once the battle over the debt ceiling bill falls back, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Wednesday.
"This isn't the end," the California Republican said on Fox News about the debt ceiling bill vote. "This doesn't solve all the problems. This is the first step. I'm going to announce a commission coming forward from the speaker, bipartisan, on both sides of the aisle. We only got to look at 11% of the budget to find these cuts. We have to look at the entire budget."
The debt ceiling bill, which has been opposed by several Republicans who say it doesn't do enough to cut government spending, is scheduled to come up for a House vote Wednesday evening.
And while Congress usually deals with discretionary expenditures to handle appropriations, mandatory spending on items such as Social Security and Medicare often goes untouched, but still makes up about two-thirds of the federal budget, reports The Washington Examiner.
"The president walled off all the others," McCarthy said. "The majority driver of the budget is mandatory spending. It's Medicare ... interest on the debt. So you only have 11% to look at in this budget. I've got a commission, Republicans and Democrats alike, that will look at every single department in America so we can find the waste."
Last month, leaders of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus suggested a commission for the budget problem as part of framing their debt ceiling plans last month.
There are already several committees that work on the nation's budget, but McCarthy said the commission he has in mind would be like the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) organization that enhanced military base structure efficiency.
Meanwhile, Congress established the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2010, leading to the Bowles-Simpson plan for addressing the nation's deficit, but not all of the commission's proposals took effect.
The debt ceiling bill, the "Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023," cleared the House Rules Committee in a 7-6 vote Tuesday. If approved by the House and Senate, the package will suspend the debt ceiling until January, 2025, in a trade for reductions in some growing discretionary spending.
"To govern is not easy, but I don't want to be on the wrong side of history," McCarthy told Fox News. "Every single one of those members who vote 'no' will miss the opportunity to vote for the largest cut in American history."
An estimate from the Congressional Budget Office says the bill is projected to cut the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion in the next 10 years.
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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