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Rep. Buddy Carter on the debt ceiling

Rep. Buddy Carter joined Yahoo Finance Live to discuss Biden's tax and infrastructure plans as well as the debt ceiling.

Video Transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: Also under pressure-- doesn't matter what political party-- the members of Congress. We've got a spending situation coming up, funding the government, as well as raising the debt ceiling. Let's bring in Representative Buddy Carter. He's a Republican from Georgia. It's good to have you here, Sir. And help us understand where you and Republicans in the House stand when it comes to funding the government and also raising the debt ceiling. Two separate things there.

BUDDY CARTER: Well, first of all, I think you had it right just a second ago. We've got a spending problem in Washington DC. There's no question about it. We need to cut up the credit cards.

What the Democrats are proposing in this $3.5 trillion socialist wish list-- they are trying to create a cradle-to-grave government dependency that will ruin the American dream and turn it into a social nightmare and a socialist nightmare. And listen, they're even willing to shut down the government to do that. They're spending-- their reckless spending is out of control.

First of all, as far as the credit limit goes, this should be decoupled. It should not be tied in to anything else. I'm not going to vote. And I don't think any Republicans are going to vote to raise the credit limit. There's no reason why we should do that. And the only reason--

ADAM SHAPIRO: Can I give you-- can I challenge you, though, on that? Your critics would say the reason to raise the debt ceiling as countless congresses have in the past, whether they be controlled by Republicans or Democrats, is because men like you-- women like you voted to put us into debt.

You voted for-- and I'm not saying it was the right vote or not. But you voted to pass the Defense Authorization Act in 2018. You voted for the emergency spending for COVID-19. That bill's due. And raising the debt ceiling covers those costs. But why not vote for it?

BUDDY CARTER: The reason the Democrats want to raise it now is so that they can get through their $3.5 trillion socialist wish list. That's the reason they want to increase the debt limit, not because of our bills that are due. And yes. We should be responsible. And we will be responsible. And we'll take care of that.

However, never underestimate or never question what their true intentions are. Their true intentions are to try to create, as I said, a cradle-to-grave government dependency that's going to ruin the American dream. And it's going to create a socialist nightmare. I mean, they're willing to raise taxes over $3 trillion.

This is build more inflation. This is what we call just a build more inflation act. And that's exactly what this will do. This is ridiculous. We've got to quit this spending. We've got to quit and cut up our credit cards. And we've got to be fiscally responsible. And yes, that goes for Democrats as well as Republicans.

SEANA SMITH: Congressman, what do you see this doing to America's competitiveness? We talked to Gary Cohn last hour. He was focusing on that when it comes to higher taxes. Also, just where we stand in this economic recovery. But if we do see this go through, how do you see that affecting the US here and our competitiveness around the world?

BUDDY CARTER: Well, that's an excellent point-- an excellent question, because what it will do is it'll make America weaker. And it will embolden our enemies. It will embolden China and the Taliban and Russia and Iran. It will embolden them. And that's exactly what is going to happen if this spending spree goes through that the Democrats are proposing here.

That's why we have to stop it. We've got to be more responsible to this. We cannot allow this to happen. We've got-- we just can't make-- we've got to make sure that we're not saddling our future generations with this kind of debt.

We've got to be more responsible than that. We've got to stop printing money. We've got to just stop spending money, printing money, and be more responsible with it. This is totally out of hand as it is now.

ADAM SHAPIRO: I think a lot of people hearing this would agree with you that we can't saddle our children with that debt. But I'm curious if we did nothing, we'd still have a deficit every year. And 60% of the federal budget is mandatory spending. So what do you propose we cut? Assuming we don't do any of the spending the Democrats want, what do you think we should cut now so that we're back in balance?

BUDDY CARTER: Well, there's no question. There is so much pork. There is so much waste, fraud, and abuse in our budget and that in our government spending. That's where we need to start. That's a good start right there.

You're right. I acknowledge the mandatory spending is a problem. And it's something that we've got to address. And we keep putting it off. We keep kicking the can down the road. But we've got to address that at some point.

You know, the chickens are coming home to roost. There's no question about that. And we've got to make sure that we stop this printing and spending of money that we stop saddling future generations with debt like we have been.

SEANA SMITH: Congressman, is there anything within the infrastructure-- the bipartisan infrastructure plan that you do support? And I guess how big of a bill or how big of a plan would you like to see when it comes to that?

BUDDY CARTER: Well, we're talking now about the $1.1 or $1.2 trillion infrastructure-- the bipartisan infrastructure bill. I want to make that clear. And yes, when you talk about infrastructure, I think all of us would agree-- roads, bridges, airports, seaports, broadband, high-speed internet-- that's what we're talking about.

Unfortunately and that $1.1 trillion bipartisan bill-- only a small percentage of that goes toward those true infrastructure costs. That's why I have a great concern about voting for that bill alone, much less, I'm not going to vote for it in combination with the $3.5 trillion. That's ridiculous. However, even alone, I've got serious reservations about the fact that depending on whose numbers you believe, only 10% to 20% of that $1.1 trillion truly goes to infrastructure.