Sen. Lankford: Congress Won't Make 'the Hard Choices That Need to be Made' to Balance the Budget

By Ashlianna Kreiner | June 9, 2021 | 2:43pm EDT
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- Commenting on President Joe Biden's budget plan that racks up $14.5 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said that Congress is unwilling to make the "hard choices" to balance the budget and that it would take a constitutional amendment  to make it happen.

At the Capitol on Wednesday, CNS News asked Senator Lankford, “President Biden has presented Congress with a budget that proposes running $14.5 trillion in deficits over the next Decade. When do you think Congress will balance the budget?”

Sen. Lankford said, “Yes, we have tried multiple times to be able to get to a balanced budget amendment. The last time that we had a serious vote on that was in 2011 and 2012. Which it failed, at that time, frustratedly.”

“We are trying to be able to get us back to a balanced budget, it would require a constitutional amendment to mandate that. Otherwise, Congress is going to continue to not make the hard choices that need to be made," he added.

CNS News followed the question with, “What year do you foresee them balancing the budget?”

Sen. Lankford responded, “I don’t see it right now. Because I don’t see an urgency on that. I have pushed my colleagues for years on this and what continues to happen is, there continues to be a sense of  'we’ll just do one more year like this, or we’ll just do one more decade like this.' More, 'we seem to be working fine at this point.' It is a major issue.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“And it is not something that most folks take seriously," said the senator.  "Frustratingly, there are many folks that are around the country [that] have stopped talking about debt and deficits, somehow that just slipped off the radar. Very few people talk about it.”

“More people need to be able to talk their legislators about it and say, 'How did it get back to balance?'" he said.  "There is no plan that gets us to balance in a single year and [it's] so far out of balance at this point -- so it will take a multi-year process to get there.”

The budget that President Biden proposed to Congress will run total deficits of $14.531 trillion between fiscal years 2022 and 2031.

As of June 7, the total debt of the federal government was $28,264,344,438,395.30, over $28 trillion.

The New York Times has reported, "President Biden would like the federal government to spend $6 trillion in the 2022 fiscal year, and for total spending to rise to $8.2 trillion by 2031. That would take the United States to its highest sustained levels of federal spending since World War II, while running deficits above $1.3 trillion through the next decade." (Emphasis added.)  

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