Speaker McCarthy eyes new commission to tackle nation's debt, but many Democrats are wary

2023-06-09 04:30:11  • 6 mins

WASHINGTON House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is studying the history books and considering the appointment of a mix of lawmakers and business leaders as he lays the groundwork for a new commission to tackle the nation's growing debt.

McCarthy is fresh off his biggest political victory since becoming speaker in January. He got the White House to negotiate on a bill that suspends the debt ceiling into January 2025 while also producing a projected $1.5 trillion in deficit savings over the coming decade. But the legislation only focused on a sliver of the federal spending that occurs each year and excluded programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that account for the majority of government spending and are the biggest drivers of the debt.

McCarthy has embraced the idea of establishing a new fiscal commission to find additional deficit reduction. While similar commissions have notched success in the past, the most recent ones failed to muster enough support for Congress to take up their recommendations. The speaker has asked Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., to work with him on the issue, which follows Graves' work as one of the lead debt ceiling negotiators in talks with the White House.

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