by Sarah Curry
Director of Fiscal Policy Studies
Last Friday the Financial Services Committee in Congress sent out a press release stating they were going to begin a hearing series on the national debt. Hopefully this series of hearings will focus on a solution to our debt problem instead of just data collection. Here is some from the press release:
WASHINGTON- Amid signs that the issue of deficits and debt have fallen off Washington’s radar, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced his committee is undertaking a series of in-depth hearings focused on the threat posed by America’s rising national debt.
“After having served on the House Budget Committee, the Simpson-Bowles Commission and the so-called ‘Super Committee,’ my laptop’s memory is full of reports and testimony warning that America is headed for a spending-driven debt crisis. The debt is the single greatest existential threat facing our nation and it is a disservice to the American people not to put this threat front and center of every debate in Washington,” Chairman Hensarling said. “Yet lately the refrain from many is ‘we’ll deal with that later.’ It reminds me of the lyrics from a popular country song – ‘Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now.’
“Our debt is not only an economic dilemma, it is a profound moral one as well. It will harm not only America’s future, but it hurts us today. Congress and the Administration should be bringing more attention to this threat. Our committee is going to do its part. This record level debt is undoubtedly adversely affecting entrepreneurs’ access to capital, domestic monetary policy and international financial markets,” Chairman Hensarling said.
The committee’s first hearing on the national debt — “Why Debt Matters” — will take place on Tuesday, March 25 at 10:00 a.m. The focus of this first hearing will be to examine the impact the nation’s $17 trillion debt has on economic growth, jobs and the federal government’s ability to fund discretionary spending and entitlement programs.
Future committee hearings in the series will include a look at how debt crises affected other nations and what spending programs are the chief drivers of our debt.
I will try to post updates on the hearing schedule and who is expected to speak and on what topics in the upcoming weeks.