EXCLUSIVE: The director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office Wednesday briefed a bunch of House Republicans in a closed-door assembly at the dire scenario the United States is in referring to its $31.4 trillion debt, resources instructed Fox News Digital.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the biggest team throughout the GOP convention, invited CBO Director Phillip Swagel to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to speak about the nationwide debt as Republicans and Democrats stay at an deadlock over elevating the debt ceiling.
“The CBO made it clear that the level of growth necessary to balance the budget without cutting spending is impossible,” a GOP aide instructed Fox News Digital.
They stated Swagel instructed the lawmakers, “We cannot grow ourselves out of this.”
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Another supply within the room showed that Swagel shared dire warnings concerning the U.S. financial system if critical fiscal cutbacks to mend the deficit aren’t imposed.
RSC Chairman Rep. Kevin Hern instructed Fox News Digital after the assembly that Swagel “painted a dark picture for us.
“But this wasn’t information to any person who is paid consideration to our spending downside,” Hern said. “The CBO is a nonpartisan entity, they usually acknowledge the severity of our present scenario.”
Republicans have called for spending cuts to offset an increase to the U.S. debt limit, while Democrats counter that raising the level is an obligation of the federal government that should be dealt with separately from other matters.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress last month that the government is using “abnormal measures” after hitting the $31.4 trillion debt limit in January, and that those funds would run out in early June.
But the CBO announced last week that the window for exhausting the measures is actually between July and September.
Swagel told Republicans at Wednesday’s meeting that he expects to have a narrower timeline by late April or early May.
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WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 15: Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Phillip Swagel speaks during a news briefing on the release of new economic reports (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Rep. Ben Cline, charged with leading the RSC’s budget task force, accused Democrats of point-blank refusing to negotiate on spending cuts – despite the left’s insistence that they don’t want to couple such conversations with the debt limit.
“These forms of briefings are extremely vital to totally perceive the seriousness of our country’s fiscal trajectory,” Cline told Fox News Digital. “It is completely irresponsible for President Biden and the Democrats to refuse to barter any obstacles on federal spending. We want to come in combination, tighten the handbag strings, and steadiness the funds – identical to households throughout America must do each day.”
But Hern suggested that Republicans aren’t all on the same page regarding the national debt, either.
“We want everybody, no longer simply fiscal conservatives, to concentrate on the debt disaster and are available to phrases with fact. There are some actually arduous conversations that want to be had, each internally within the GOP and with our colleagues around the aisle,” he said.
The first GOP aide who spoke with Fox News Digital said it was clear Medicare and Social Security “are going bancrupt” whether President Biden “likes it or no longer, and insolvency would cause large cuts.”
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GOP Rep. Ben Cline told Fox News Digital that Wednesday’s meeting was “vital to totally perceive the seriousness of our country’s fiscal trajectory” (Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Biden and Democrats have accused the GOP of wanting to cut those programs in order to bring down spending – a claim that spurred outrage among Republicans.
But the CBO’s economic forecast released last week projected that Social Security will be insolvent in 2032, while the Medicare Hospital Trust Fund will likely be insolvent in 2033 – endangering the benefits programs’ cashflow by 20 to 25%.
It also suggested that economic growth will be far weaker in 2023, and that “output enlargement involves a halt in early 2023 according to the pointy upward thrust in rates of interest” by the Federal Reserve.
“The handiest means ahead is to chop spending,” the GOP aide said they took away from the meeting. “There isn’t any option to dig ourselves out of this debt disaster with out chopping spending.”
CBO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.