Chairman Cole Hearing Remarks on H.R. 2811 and H.J. Res. 39

As prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon.

Our business today is to consider two items. The first I’ll discuss is the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023.

The United States has a serious spending problem. Our national debt today exceeds one hundred and twenty percent of GDP. More than six trillion of that debt has accrued in the last two years due to the fiscally reckless policies of President Biden and Congressional Democrats.

This out-of-control level of spending is unsustainable.

Given that more than three-in-four Americans feel the national debt should be addressed, you’d hope that the President and Congressional Democrats would focus on this pressing issue. Instead, his administration began with a partisan one point nine trillion dollar reconciliation package, on top of money previously spent on the COVID pandemic, and on top of our normal annual Federal spending. President Biden and Congressional Democrats then approved another partisan reconciliation bill, with five hundred billion dollars in new spending. And, after that, President Biden tried to use executive orders to put forward an illegal and unconstitutional student loan cancellation scheme. If allowed to stand, it will add over four hundred billion dollars to our national debt. Spending, spending, and more spending has been the theme of the Biden presidency.

We’re already facing the ramifications of this spending spree. We have reached the statutory limit on our national debt, and the nation cannot borrow any more money without raising that limit. It’s high time President Biden and Congressional Democrats recognize the reality of the spending problem. We have been told for months that it is their way or the highway, that we must agree to lifting the debt limit without conditions, and that they will not negotiate with Republicans on this.

President Biden’s position on this is stunningly irresponsible. We cannot keep doing what we have been doing and expect that everything will work out in the end. If we keep squandering money the way we have been, all we will leave behind for our children and our grandchildren is a mountain of debt, a broken economy, and a destroyed national currency.

At least there are a few Congressional Democrats that believe the President’s position is untenable, urging the President to come to the table. Unfortunately, it has yet to change the President’s mind as he continues to stonewall the Speaker.

Doing nothing is simply not an option, which is why we have put forward the Limit, Save, Grow Act as a way to responsibly raise the debt limit. This legislation will accomplish three goals: we will limit future Federal spending, we will save funds that are not necessary to spend, and we will grow the economy. And, having put the nation on a more sustainable fiscal path, we will raise the debt ceiling through next spring.

I want to remind my friends in the minority that there have been many occasions in the past where significant fiscal reforms were enacted on a bipartisan basis in tandem with increasing the debt limit. I believe we will ultimately do that again. We will take action to increase the debt limit and avoid a national default, and we will pass important fiscal reforms into law to put us on a more sustainable course.

But we cannot do that until President Biden and Congressional Democrats stop derailing consensus. The House taking up and passing the Limit, Save, Grow Act is an important step forward in this process. We can take another step forward when President Biden stops refusing to entertain any reforms and agrees to sit down with Speaker McCarthy at the negotiating table.

Our second item today is H.J. Res. 39, a joint resolution disapproving of the Biden Administration’s rule lifting import duties on solar cells and modules produced in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam using components produced in Communist China.

The United States has had import duties in place on solar cells and solar modules from the People’s Republic of China since 2012. Those duties arose under U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty law, and were imposed after a Department of Commerce investigation concluded that China was unfairly subsidizing their solar panel manufacturing industry, making it impossible for American manufacturers to compete.

But rather than continue to hold Communist China accountable for their anticompetitive behavior, last year, President Biden issued an executive order suspending these import duties. He placed green climate ideology above the best interests of the American people.

Today’s resolution will change that. It will ensure that Communist China is held accountable for their behavior, and it will ensure that American solar panel manufacturers are able to compete on a level playing field. It will allow American innovators and manufacturers to be leaders in this space, and it will help bring American supply chains home where they belong.


Apr 25, 2023