(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said President Barack Obama “needs to admit” his economic policies “have failed” America. To back up his assertion, West cited the national debt increase under Obama’s watch.
“What people have to understand, there’s one simple reason why we’re in this situation right now. There has been close to $4-and-a-half trillion dollars of new debt that has come about in two-and-a-half years since President Obama took office,” said West after a press conference about the Priority Spending Act of 2011. “So this is a catastrophic situation. That’s more debt than from, I believe, 1776 up to 1994 almost. So that’s what we’re contending with.”
The 111th Democrat-controlled Congress, which cast its last vote on December 22, 2010, added $3.22 trillion to the national debt, according to data posted by the Treasury Department. This amount surpasses the debt added by the first 100 Congresses combined.
The Priority Spending Act, backed by Rep. West in the House, would require the federal government to fund the following obligations, in order, before any others when it reaches the statutory debt limit:
(1) Amounts necessary to carry out the authority of the Department of the Treasury provided in section 3123 of title 31, United States Code, to pay with legal tender the principal and interest on debt held by the public.
(2) Such amounts as the Secretary of Defense (and the Secretary of Homeland Security in the case of the Coast Guard) determines to be necessary to continue to provide pay and allowances (without interruption) to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine
Corps, and Coast Guard, including reserve components thereof who perform active service.
(3) Such amounts as the president certifies to the Congress are necessary to carry out vital national security priorities.
(4) Amounts necessary to carry out the authority of the Commissioner of Social Security to pay monthly old-age, survivors’, and disability insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act.
(5) Amounts necessary to make payments under the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act.