February 23, 2023
A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected our nation will add nearly $19 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. CBO projects the debt will equal 118 percent of gross domestic product 2033. With the national debt already in excess of $31 trillion, inflation hammering American families, and economic uncertainty threatening American small businesses, it's clearer than ever we must put a stop to runaway spending in Washington.
As recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show, households in the U.S. continue to feel the pain of inflation. While the January Consumer Price Index shows the cost of living continues to rise at 6.4 percent, the components of inflation reflecting the most basic needs of American families continue to rise at higher rates. Natural gas is up 26.7 percent, electricity is up 11.9 percent, and housing costs are up 7.9 percent. Food costs are also soaring; eggs are up 70.1 percent, and milk is up 11 percent. Inflation is burdensome on every American and most hurts those who can least afford it.
Another driver of inflation continues to be the inability of businesses to find workers at any wage level in the aftermath of Biden administration policies that paid Americans to stay home. The National Federation of Independent Business January jobs report showed 91 percent of small business owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. The civilian labor force participation rate continues to flounder at 62.4 percent while inflation has rendered real wage growth negative for the last 22 months.
Instead of connecting workers on the sidelines of the economy with job creators who desperately need employees, the Biden administration is making it more and more difficult to get by. In fact, the administration recently put forward a proposal to crackdown on reporting of tips earned by workers in the service industry. This move follows on a 2021 law passed by congressional Democrats and enacted by President Biden which would increase audits by requiring financial institutions and mobile money apps to provide customer data to the IRS on any user with more than $600 in financial transactions in a year.
These surveillance efforts are just a piece of a comprehensive effort led by the administration to surveil and tax American families at every turn, even as they struggle under soaring inflation. Because of this, I recently partnered with Congressman Drew Ferguson to introduce the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act. This bill would block the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from implementing any new reporting requirements for banks or other financial institutions as part of their aggressive bank surveillance scheme. I also cosponsored legislation by Congresswoman Carol Miller to repeal the $600 transaction reporting requirement. Earlier this year, the House passed my bill with Congresswoman Michelle Steel to defund the 87,000 new IRS agents funded through Democrats' Inflation Act. The Biden administration claims they are only looking to go after wealthy tax cheats, but their own actions underscore their desire to closely monitor the finances of every American – even those in lower tax brackets. This overreach is the last thing Americans need right now.
If the president's track record and rhetoric at his recent State of the Union address are any indication, the administration will continue to prioritize reckless spending and partisan priorities over bipartisanship, economic growth, and the needs of the American people. Meanwhile, House Republicans are hard at work delivering on our commitment to a strong economy. In our first hearing of the new Congress, the House Ways and Means Committee traveled to West Virginia to hear directly from the American people about the failures of the Biden economy. House Republicans are focused on advancing policies to bring stability to small businesses, increase the take-home pay of hard-working Americans, put a stop to reckless government spending, and end the Biden administration's war on the middle class.