“House Speaker McCarthy Calls for Commission to Address U.S. Debt Crisis”

Kevin McCarthy Studies History Books for New Debt Reduction Commission

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is looking to form a new commission to tackle the United States’ growing debt. After recently convincing the White House to negotiate a bill suspending the debt ceiling into January 2025, which could save $1.5 trillion in deficit over the next decade, McCarthy is now turning his attention to tackling the health care spending that is the main contributor to the country’s debt.

Establishing a New Fiscal Commission

Many have suggested that spending cuts and tax hikes are the way to alleviate the country’s financial troubles, but the issue is complicated by the fact that many Republicans won’t accept any tax increases and many Democrats won’t consider benefit cuts. Despite these challenges, McCarthy has embraced the idea of establishing a new fiscal commission to address the debt crisis, with a focus on finding additional deficit reductions that exclude programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that contribute the most significant proportion of government spending.

Similar commissions have had success in the past, but the most recent ones failed to receive enough support for Congress to consider their recommendations. McCarthy has asked Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., to work with him on the issue, following Graves’ work as one of the lead debt ceiling negotiators in talks with the White House.

Mixing Lawmakers and Business Leaders

McCarthy is considering appointing a combination of lawmakers and business leaders to the commission. McCarthy believes the appointment of modern people in the business world who have looked at companies in a way to streamline and modernize for efficiencies will be able to provide fresh perspectives. However, he is struggling to determine the appropriate mix of individuals to form a successful team.

The commission’s clout would be significantly reduced if it was without Senate participation and buy-in from the White House. Additionally, any findings will likely arise during a presidential election year, which could result in unfavorable political consequences for the proposal that requires some sacrifices from the voting public.

A Broad and Unpopular Healthcare Spending Issue

According to McCarthy, there has never been a comprehensive look into the rise of healthcare spending, and one is long overdue. However, the landmines confronting the commission are vast as simply cutting the budget will only inhibit essential healthcare services, especially for senior citizens.

Although many Congressmen support the idea of the fiscal commission, McCarthy faces opposition from some parties. For example, Senator Ron Wyden, the Democratic chair of the Senate Finance Committee, views the commission as something that would cater more towards GOP “ideological trophies”.

Previous Efforts to Reduce Deficits Through Commissions Ended in Failure

The establishment of a commission to reduce deficits is not a novel idea, and past efforts to set up such groups have ended in defeat. In 2010, the Simpson-Bowles commission’s recommendations for reducing deficits gained the support of most of its members, but it fell three votes short of the 14-vote threshold required to send the package to Congress for a vote.

In 2011, Congress established a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, but this “supercommittee” also failed to produce a deficit-cutting plan of at least $1.2 trillion. Congress then put into place a backup plan that enacted across-the-board cuts to both defense and non-defense programs should the supercommittee fail. However, Congress regularly bypassed these automatic cuts by increasing the limits on discretionary spending.


The establishment of a fiscal commission to tackle the growing debt crisis in the United States is a significant step forward. However, finding a successful mix of lawmakers and business leaders to work together seamlessly is not an easy task. Moreover, political opposition from either GOP or Democratic parties must be overcome to avoid bringing political consequences to the proposal. Efforts to reduce the deficit via commissions have, unfortunately, been unsuccessful in the past.

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