While President Biden compels Congress to enact his agenda that may total up of $6 trillion, a massive government spending binge, congressional Republicans are saying they plan to"reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility" because the national debt soars above $28 trillion.
And before this, Republicans under former President Trump failed to reign in the federal deficit from Obama-era numbers despite speaking for decades about the risks of the federal debt.
The first two years Trump was fully responsible for national spending, in actuality, the deficit was larger than the last two decades of former President Obama's time in office. This is leading some to wonder how severe Republicans are all about fiscal responsibility.
"It's a large quantity of spending at a time where we're not even able to cover the spending which we already have on the books," Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget President Maya MacGuineas said about Biden's plans.
MacGuineas told Fox News that it would be to Biden's"credit" that he is proposing taxes to cover that spending. But, she explained,"How those amounts add up, they do not really get there yet. They are still talking about paying for things over 15 decades. ... They're going to have to go further either finding more pay-fors or scaling back the size of the bundle."
She added that Democrats' tax increases shouldn't be going toward financing new spending except to cover the debt and deficit the U.S. already has.
Republicans are panning the price of Biden's plans and throwing up roadblocks to them in Congress. Negotiations continue between Senate Republicans and the White House on a Possible infrastructure invoice.
Republicans didn't locate the new proposal encouraging, but talks are ongoing.
"Last March, our economy was on the brink of ruin and required unprecedented investment to protect against a depression. Now our economy is well on the way to recovery, and definitely not in need of the sweeping spending suggestions put forth by the Biden government and Democrats in Congress," a spokesperson for Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., told Fox News. "While Senator Toomey considers there's bipartisan consensus to be had on real infrastructure, he strongly disagrees with the Democrats' blowout spending bundles that have already begun to hamper our retrieval in the form of employee shortages and inflation"
The spokesperson also stated Toomey opposes"massive, financially reckless spending bills regardless of the president in power."
Last week, a group of House Republicans just released a budget which could institute huge reductions and spending reforms.
"The Democrats are introducing socialism and radically expanding the use of government, and in only a short quantity of time, we're seeing the negative effects of their agenda on our economy," Republican Study Committee Chair (RSC) Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., stated this week as the RSC introduced its proposed funding. The document would balance the budget over five years while decreasing taxation, the RSC said.
"It's time Republicans reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibility and show voters an alternative vision for conservative government," Banks added.
MacGuineas said RSC associates"get big points not for the seriousness of the funding but for the principle" of actually placing proposals on paper if their budget isn't likely to be enacted.
And Republicans a week also raised worries about the Endless Frontier Act. The bill is in the Senate and directed at countering China on engineering and financial fronts, goals several Republicans told Fox News that they find laudable.
But some are raising concerns that the purchase price of the Endless Frontier Act is increasing too fast and say it is still not hard enough against China.
"There are a few really great things from the Endless Frontier Act, and the overall attempt to compete with China is absolutely crucial," one Senate Republican aide told Fox News,"but that bill includes items unrelated to that campaign, and all together they've run up a fairly exorbitant price tag once we're staring down a $28 trillion federal debt. That's giving some conservatives pause, even though they support the underlying assumption of this bill."
"A lot of folks are in for a rude awakening" when they really read the bill, one House GOP aide compared to the Endless Frontier Act told.
"It's just crazy, the price tag of this invoice," that aide said. "It is astronomically high for the invoice to do nothing."
Those remarks were made while the invoice was estimated to cost $130 billion. But after a round of amendments this week Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., stated it currently costs $250 billion.
"At some stage, we're likely to run out of digits," he explained.
Despite concerns from some on the right, the Endless Frontier Act is expected to pass the Senate with significant Republican support. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., a self-proclaimed"financial hawk," highlighted that countering China is a"worthy investment"
MacGuineas said Republicans are right that spending too much and adding to the national debt is a significant problem.
"This is an urgent problem because you, we do not know when it will become an economic difficulty," she said. "Interest rates, inflation, currency, any of these difficulties. But most significantly it disturbs every other vulnerability we've, whether it's in competition with China, whether it's to cyber or terrorist attacks, whether it's dealing with national emergencies or natural disasters, it renders us vulnerable."
"The rhetoric is excellent. It's just really hard to take it seriously after the huge quantity of reckless borrowing that they participated in prior to the pandemic," MacGuineas added.
Democratic National Committee spokesman Ammar Moussa was more direct.
"Nothing speaks to Republicans' hypocrisy over their enthusiastic support for gifting corporations trillions of dollars and their unanimous opposition to getting everyday Americans the aid they need," he said. "As President Biden and Democrats work to get our nation back on track, Republicans have made clear they're just interested in protecting corporations and the wealthiest Americans."
Banks, however, faulted Democrats for constantly advocating for spending suggestions that bloat the federal budget.
"While it is true that both Republicans and Democrats have led to our national debt and deficit, Democrats constantly push for a greater topline on every national spending package and Republicans always argue for a lower one," he told Fox News. "With Democrats in charge of the two chambers and the White House, we've seen how high those toplines can get. Inflation and cost of living have been already skyrocketing -- we need to turn this around before it's too late"
MacGuineas said Republicans and Democrats will need to make hard choices if america is to get its financial house in order.
"The first thing we should do is our headed-towards-insolvency trust funds, most importantly, Social Security and Medicare," she said, suggesting that a higher retirement age, means testing and much more. MacGuineas also said the U.S. should cover discretionary spending and ought to repeal the 2017 tax cuts, get rid of tax breaks or possibly find new revenue streams through a value added tax or a carbon tax.
"The only thing I'd say that individuals should not think about is the rigid belief that you can do this without touching taxation or without fixing our biggest programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, because that is only a sign of a lack of realism," MacGuineas said.
She added:"When it comes down to this, the biggest test for all this is: Are you really ready to do something hard?"