2:26 PM EST
Mike Pence, R-IN 6th

Mr. PENCE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise today in opposition to H.R. 4314. It is a bill that will increase the statutory limit on the national debt by $290 billion.

Now, my distinguished colleague and friend just called that ``hitting the pause button,'' and that was evidence of his characteristic candor, because as everybody in this body knows, this $290 billion increase in the statutory limit on the national debt is simply a down payment on the nearly $2 trillion increase in the national debt that this Democratic majority intends to move in this Congress after the first of the year.

Increasing the national debt. You know, it's moments like this that I have really got to say that the American people have had it. I mean, at a time of economic difficulty for working families, small businesses, and family farmers all across this country, a time when families are sitting down at kitchen tables, huddled around aluminum desks in small businesses, in basements with fluorescent lights hanging, they're figuring out where to cut back. They're figuring out what expenses to put off.

They're just figuring out how to make it from one month to the next.

And those families and those small businesses don't have the ability to walk down to the bank and just increase their debt limit with the wave of the hand. I mean, they have got to make hard choices. And to their undying credit, the American people are making those hard choices. And the reason they're so frustrated looking at Washington, D.C., today is because they see a national government that is completely out of step with the character and the values and the sacrifice that the American people

are practicing every day--not that it's anything new.

As the distinguished chairman just said a few moments ago, when Republicans were in control, we did our share of spending and overspending. Republicans doubled the national debt in the 8 years of the last administration. But this Democratic majority just passed a budget that will double the national debt in the next 5 years and triple it in 10.

[Time: 14:30]

After 3 years of Democratic control in the House, the national debt has increased by 39 percent. The national deficit hit a record of $1.4 trillion. In this fiscal year, it's expected to reach a new record of $1.8 trillion. Millions of Americans are asking, Madam Speaker, when will it stop? When will Washington get the message that we can't borrow, spend and bail our way back to a growing America, that we've got to begin, Republicans and Democrats, to practice what we so love to preach when we

are home: fiscal discipline, fiscal responsibility? And then we come here right before the Christmas break [Page: H15423]

on the day we are probably headed out of this building, and we're going to pass a $290 billion increase in the statutory limit on the national debt.

The American people don't want more debt for Christmas. This Congress ought to be sticking around, making the hard choices, reducing the size and scope of government and reforming these entitlements. Do the work the way the American people are doing the work, so help us, God.