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Mazzei Minute: 06/02/23

Well, what do the doubters have to say now? When Kevin McCarthy went through a ton of votes to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, all of the D.C. talking heads proclaimed he wouldn’t be able to govern. Now that a deal has been reached on the debt ceiling, all the naysayers need to give McCarthy credit where credit is due.

McCarthy and House Republicans have had several legislative successes, most notably the Limit, Save, Grow Act. That success, even with a small four-vote majority, gave McCarthy the leverage he needed to force President Biden to give up his “I will not negotiate” pledge over the debt ceiling. The result is a debt ceiling deal that will at least restrain the spending spree D.C. Democrats have been on since Biden was elected.

I wish the debt ceiling deal actually reduced spending instead of simply capping it, but McCarthy still achieved some significant wins. For an increase to the current $31.4 trillion debt limit, the deal claws back $28 billion of unspent COVID funds, cuts the new IRS increase by $1.4 billion, and fast-tracks a new natural gas pipeline in West Virginia. More importantly, the deal subjects discretionary spending to automatic cuts if the U.S. House fails to return to the actual appropriation process instead of the monstrosity of the “continuing resolution” giant package, which always facilitates overspending.

Sea changes often start as small swells. Hopefully, this is a first step to a tidal wave of impactful budget reform.


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