On Fox News, Portman Discusses Democrats’ Reckless Spending Spree, Debt Limit

October 6, 2021 | Portman Difference

In an interview this afternoon with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, Senator Portman discussed his concerns with the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reckless tax and spending spree that will hurt the economy, job creation, and working families who are already paying higher prices at the pump and in grocery stores because of surging inflation. 

On the debt limit, Portman explained how Democrats must vote to increase the debt limit because of their massive spending spree – their $1.9 trillion spending bill passed earlier this year and now a $3.5 trillion bill – the largest in American history – that they are gearing up to pass without a single Republican vote. 

A transcript of the interview can be found below and you can also watch the interview here.


“Well, I think that’s absolutely true. And I appreciate Jim Clyburn, and I appreciate his candor, frankly, but that’s exactly what I fear. People say that it’s $3.5 trillion. Actually, it’s more than that, the tax and spend bill, because it doesn’t include programs that both start later, like the Medicare program for dental, as an example – doesn’t start for several years, but then it will continue indefinitely – or other programs that start and then stop, but as you say, will be almost impossible not to continue. Once people start getting these benefits, the experience has been in our country that you continue to get them. And as you know, it’s those mandatory spending programs, entitlement programs, that are causing us the fiscal crisis that we’re in. It’s candid for him to say that, that’s the problem with the $3.5 trillion, it’s really more like $5 trillion when you look at it that way, and we just can’t afford it at a time when we have $30 trillion in debt. And by the way, coupled with that, Neil, is also the big tax increases, which really slam our economy right now.”

“Well, we might get something, but I don’t think it’s going to be close to the $3.5 trillion or certainly not the $5 trillion that were talked about a moment ago. It looks like something might happen. I hope it doesn’t, because I think it’s a terrible time to do it for our economy. We just spent a whole bunch of money earlier this year, in March of this year, on some of the same programs. And to raise taxes right now for small business owners, as an example, you’re seeing about a 40 percent to 50 percent tax increase for successful small businesses because they’re paying their taxes as individuals. And everything goes up, including a small business surcharge not having the 20 percent deduction.”


“No. What I think Mitch McConnell said is consistent with what he said all along, which is, we are not going to default and we must not default and we won’t. And we haven’t in the past."


“I think ultimately, the proposals that he’s making do require Democrats to provide the 50 votes, plus one, plus the Vice President breaking the ties. So even though Republicans would allow Democrats to get on to that kind of a bill, the actual debt limit votes would be provided by Democrats and any Republicans that were interested. But I don’t think any are because the increase in the debt, as you know, is driven by two things. 

“One, the $1.9 trillion package at the beginning of this year, March of this year, where no Republican was included on purpose. They did it under reconciliation, sought no Republican support and didn’t receive any. And that was for COVID, but more than half of it did not go to COVID. It went for other priorities, including social spending. And now this big, huge new package we’ve been talking about, the-so called $3.5 or $5 trillion package, that’s a lot of new spending programs that will be in place for probably forever. So this is why Republicans are saying, ‘We’re okay to let you get to the debt ceiling, have the vote on the debt ceiling,’ and Democrats will likely provide the votes.”


“Well, I think we always knew that towards the end, we were going to have to figure out a way forward. And it’s interesting you mentioned people being blamed, when you look at the polling data, which I saw today, most Americans actually blame the Democrats. Now I’m not saying that’s a reason for us to do or not to do anything on the debt limit. We should not default. We will not default. We’ve never defaulted. But I don’t think that’s true that Republicans were feeling a lot of pressure. I think it was more frankly, the Democrats were feeling some pressure, and now we’re going to figure out a way forward. And that’s very positive.

“It may not be for as long a time period as the Democrats initially wanted, but it will be, I think, for a period of time to get us beyond this immediate crisis, get us into, I hope, early next year and the opportunity for us to get this economy back on track. But let’s not do the big tax and spending bill, which would have just the opposite effect.”