Opinion: I’m voting for the Fiscal Responsibility Act. Here’s Why.

After 97 days of delays from the White House, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was finally able to get President Biden to come to the negotiating table and discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase that cuts spending and changes America’s economic trajectory.

Our current debt crisis is unsustainable. A child born today already owes more than $90,000 to the federal government, and this administration has a brick on the spending gas pedal. By executive order alone, Biden has unilaterally spent more than $1.5 trillion taxpayer dollars. That’s not how a democratic republic is supposed to function. On top of that, Washington Democrats are forcing you to pay for these inflationary spending sprees twice: once with your hard-earned tax dollars and again at gas stations and grocery stores as prices continue to soar.

America is careening towards bankruptcy and it’s time to change course. Our federal debt has been growing at unsustainable levels for decades, and I’ll be the first to admit that both Washington Republicans and Washington Democrats share in this blame. That’s why it’s imperative that we work together to fix it. We didn’t get $31 trillion in debt overnight and we won’t get out of it overnight, either; but, the Fiscal Responsibility Act gets us closer to this goal than any previous debt ceiling legislation in recent history.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act will save taxpayers $2 trillion over the next six years, according to a preliminary score by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It accomplishes this goal by rolling back year-over-year, non-defense discretionary spending to fiscal year 2022 levels for the next two fiscal years, the same levels we were operating under just a few short months ago. For the next six years, annual spending growth will be capped at 1%, down from the 13% that Biden initially requested in his 2023 budget.

The bill restarts student loan repayments, saving taxpayers an estimated $5 billion per month. It also claws back tens of billions of unspent money for COVID-19 relief, including a $400 million cut from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Global Health Fund that sent American taxpayer dollars to China. When enacted, this will be the largest rescission package in history, pulling unnecessary federal dollars out of our economy so that families can finally feel some relief in their pocketbooks.

House Republicans also successfully included reasonable and modest work requirements for some welfare programs, a policy House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies previously called a “nonstarter.” Now, more Americans will be lifted out of poverty, creating jobs and saving taxpayer dollars.

Additionally, this bill includes the first significant National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reform since 1982, streamlining the permitting process for energy and infrastructure projects so that we can unleash American energy dominance and grow our economy. This means that fewer projects will be bogged down by unnecessary bureaucratic delays, which for a state growing as rapidly as Georgia, is an important step forward.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act accomplishes all of this and more while protecting seniors, veterans, and America’s national security. Considering that just a few weeks ago the White House reaffirmed that it would not negotiate on the debt ceiling, this is remarkable progress.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act is not a win for the Republican or Democratic party; it is a win for the American people, which is why I will proudly vote yes as a down payment on the broader goal of our conference to restore fiscal sanity in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, represents Georgia’s 1st Congressional District.