Skip to content
U.S. National Debt:

Priorities For The 115th Congress

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

The 115th Congress presents an opportunity to deliver real and lasting change for the American people.  We must seize the moment to fundamentally change the course of our country to restore prosperity, stability and liberty.

For far too long, we have let the enormous federal government curtail and hold back American ingenuity and opportunity through misguided central planning and political ideology.  Replacing one-size-fits-all, top-down government controls should unleash the true entrepreneurial potential and vibrancy of the American people.

To help create that opportunity for real and meaningful change, Congress and the new Administration must take on our mammoth federal debt, perilous fiscal problems, fragile economic recovery and shaky markets.  This requires finally stopping the growth of our national debt by enacting strong budget controls that restrain out-of-control federal spending.  Dramatically simplifying our tax code, eliminating complexity, lowering rates and generating economic growth for American families and businesses are other necessary reforms.  We must also focus on reforms to mandatory spending programs, whose current uncontrolled spending growth have put them on the brink of insolvency within a generation.  This includes reforming Social Security and Medicare upon which millions of Americans rely.

We should reward innovation and establish the roadmap for creativity to flourish.  We should remove government efforts that seek to control our lives, our personal information and liberties.  We must create a regulatory environment that does not restrict the ability of Americans to turn their ideas into jobs.  This includes stopping regulatory agencies’ collection of big data on private financial information and eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens that pile more paperwork and red tape on Americans.  For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive overreach must end, and effective environmental policies that do not jeopardize the economy and small businesses must be the objective.  Locally-driven collaboration remains the best means of addressing many of our environment and public lands issues. 

There are many critical issues for Congress and the new Administration to work together to address for the betterment of our nation.  We should ensure people have choices to chart their own careers and lives, not have the government put its thumb on the scale.  Working together, an opportunistic Congress and agencies that respect not make laws, can achieve great things.  Above all, we need to respect the bounds and guidelines established in our Constitution that call for a humble and limited federal government, understand the separation of powers, and adhere to the rational restraints of the 10th Amendment, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”  This directive must be front and center as we forge ahead to change course and empower new opportunities for the American people in the Congress ahead. 

# # #

Word Count:  464