Issues of the Day

Floor Speech

Date: April 28, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I think the next 2\1/2\ months of this institution are going to be consumed with the budget and the amount of spending. I don't think the press has done an adequate job of alerting the public to the crisis we currently have.

As we have talked before, we are headed towards the Federal debt of $31 trillion being 100 percent of GDP. Of course, over time as the value of the dollar changes, it sometimes makes it difficult to see exactly how bad that is. The last time the debt was as great as the Gross National Product was the end of World War II.

Now, at the end of World War II, America was very economically strong because Japan and Europe were flattened by the end of World War II, but even more, we knew at the end of World War II that we were going to lay off hundreds of thousands of military personnel. We knew the factories would stop building the ships, the planes, and the tanks that were necessary for World War II, and therefore, we knew we were heading into a time of dramatically decreased spending.

That is exactly what happened. At the end of World War II, slowly we dropped from 100 percent of GDP debt ratio down to a little over 20 percent. Things were really getting under control. We were a little bit over 20 percent during the Presidency of Richard Nixon. Then things began to slowly rise again. Recently, in part with COVID and in part the completely reckless spending under President Biden, we are headed back to 100 percent again.

The American public has to stop and think. While we knew at the end of World War II spending was inevitably going to drop, we live during a time of an aging population in which the amount of money we are spending on Medicare and Social Security is going to continue to go up if we do nothing else.

Now, we sure should never, ever cut Social Security. I will not do that. We should not be reducing any Medicare benefits. That means we have to look at the rest of the budget.

What do we see is President Biden's vision for America?

Let's look at the budget that he has already proposed for the calendar year beginning October 1. Line after line after line does not show the cuts that are necessary that the Republican Party is prepared to make.

The Department of Agriculture is up 14 percent. The Department of Commerce is up 11 percent. The Department of Education is up 13\1/2\ percent. The Department of Energy is up 13\1/2\ percent. The Department of Interior is up over 9 percent. The Department of Labor is up 11 percent. The Department of State, which is wasteful, is up 11 percent. The Department of the Treasury is up 15 percent. The Department of the Treasury, of course, includes a nice equity advisory board. The Environmental Protection Agency is up 19 percent. The National Science Foundation is up 18 percent.

Wherever you look, President Biden has responded to the greatest debt-to-GDP ratio in my lifetime by raising spending 8, 9, 10 percent. The only areas without significant increases are the military, despite President Biden, as far as I can see, doing very little to try to end the war in Ukraine, and the southern border.

By the way, I want to repeat an anecdote to let the Chair know exactly the mindset of the Biden administration when it comes to Homeland Security.

I was down on that border 2 weeks ago. I have been a fan of drug dogs, which are so necessary, given that the majority of drugs that flow across the border, killing 107,000 Americans, are very handy for the Border Patrol and ICE.

I asked a member of the Border Patrol union down there what he thought of the dogs, figuring he would, of course, want more. He said, no, they don't need more dogs because the last time the Border Patrol got more dogs, under President Biden--they bought 38 new dogs, not to sniff out drugs, not to prevent the killing of over 100,000 Americans a year. What did they do with the new dogs? They got therapy dogs because they heard the Border Patrol was stressed.

Of course, the Border Patrol is stressed. You have so many people coming across the border, and the administration is not acting or making the policy changes necessary to control the border.

What can you say for an administration when, presented with the possibility of new dogs at the border, it feels the priority is therapy dogs? If the Border Patrol agents feel stressed, they have a dog to pet.

That is a true story of the priorities of the Biden administration at the border.

In any event, you can see virtually many agencies with over 10 percent increases, with the major outlier there being defense and homeland security.

We should comment a little bit more on the equity advisory board at Treasury. Not only does the Department of the Treasury have new bureaucrats designed to determine how we are going to treat people--by race, sex, or sexual preference--these new boards or commissions are put throughout the new budget. The function of these boards, I feel, is to divide America.

Rather than being the America that is the meritocracy that our forefathers envisioned in which everybody is being treated equally, the Biden administration, in the name of diversity, is including bureaucrats everywhere to determine who gets hired, who gets promoted, and who gets the relevant grants.

This is something that people are afraid to talk about, and I don't like to talk about it, but do we want to head into being a country-- other countries have gone down this path--in which they say X number of people of this background have to be government employees here or grants have to go there.

It always results in very hard feelings. When you begin to hire people by that, you are not always hiring the best people.

I think Americans have to ask themselves, as we train the new generation of doctors, as we train the new generation of air traffic controllers, as we train the new generation of engineers, which determine the viability of our manufacturing as we compete with companies abroad, are we going to continue to hire the best and allow the best to be promoted? Or are we going to fall back into some sort of Third World country in which we divide our Nation by what other countries would call tribes? They might be religious or whatever.

I will repeat an anecdote I talked about last week, which I don't think the national press corps has picked up on, but they should pick up on.

Not long after President Biden took office, two Democratic Senators, Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono, one from Illinois and one from Hawaii, said that they would not vote for any more of President Biden's appointees if they were White men, unless they were gay.

Now, that is an awkward thing to talk about. It is kind of scary that we had two U.S. Senators taking such a divisive position.

Then, we had a legal journal that did a little bit of research a couple of months ago on the judicial appointments by President Biden. Ninety-seven judicial appointments--the author of this article, I talked to her, was not even for or against it. She really had no opinions on what she found. Of the 97 new judges, only five were White men, and at least two of those five--might be more--were gay.

At least when it comes to judicial appointments, President Biden is following the path of a kind of dislike, almost hatred, for people who used to make up the majority of this country.

I hope more studies are done along those lines, and I hope there is a little bit of outrage because I have a feeling President Biden may be following down the same path when it comes to other appointees and, quite frankly, doing all he can to get the same sort of ratios when it comes to government spending, or trying to do this when it comes to businesses that do business with the government.

We recently heard, as well, that the Biden administration is doing what they can to penalize frugal borrowers. What they want to do is, if you want to borrow money from a bank and you are a good credit risk because you are not a spendthrift, they feel that you ought to have to pay a higher interest rate because they want to subsidize people who spend all their money and don't save money. They feel those people should get a lower interest rate.

I think this diversity has gotten out of control. There is a huge cost related to it. We have heard in the committee that I am on that there are bureaucratic diversity professionals who are making $200,000 a year in our universities. More of these people are going to have to be hired by private business.

It is, first of all, at a time when we have a labor shortage insofar as there are people looking for new jobs. Those jobs should be in manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and even tourism. Wherever you look, we need more people, not more highly paid bureaucrats who, when they look at people, solely view people by race, gender, or sexual preference.

In any event, I hope the press does a better job of going through President Biden's recommendations line by line in the budget and see where there are the types of things we would look to see for a country that is in deep danger by the overall amount of debt we have. Particularly, I hope the press corps homes in on these new bureaucrats as to exactly what they are doing since their job is not to do anything productive but just make sure that everybody in the Federal Government looks at people as a token of race, gender, or sexual preference.