NC congressman won’t vote to raise debt ceiling, cites need to analyze spending

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Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., on Thursday introduced a bill to track "fiscal responsibility" in Congress as Democrats work to pass President Biden’s $4 trillion economic agenda.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday said he would vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling so that the country avoids defaulting, but Murphy disagreed with his assessment. 

"I personally am not going to vote to raise the debt ceiling," Murphy told Fox News Digital in an interview. "The problem is – in the proverbial ‘kicking the can down the road’ – until we develop fiscal responsibility about budgeting, we will always say, ‘We’re always going to raise the debt ceiling.’"

Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., attends a news conference with the GOP Doctors Caucus on the origins of covid-19, the delta variant, and vaccines, outside of the Capitol on Thursday, July 22, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He added that it’s "quaint to say we’re mortgaging of children’s and grandchildren’s futures, but we’re really to the point of the future and viability of the country."

"We cannot continue with this reckless spending spree," the North Carolina congressman said. "We have to stop the mentality of certain groups within the country that the government is supposed to take care of them. That is not the role of the government."

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In an effort to "bring back accountability of spending" in Congress and signal to members that their fiscal habits are "being watched," Murphy introduced the Intergenerational Financial Obligations Reform (INFORM) Act, as The Daily Caller first reported.

"It is long past time that we bring accountability back to government," he said.

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While Murphy believes the CARES Act was necessary "for the viability of the country" during the first few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the nearly $6 trillion that was spent afterward "has so many injurious ramifications," such as increased inflation.

The U.S. national debt is currently approaching $29 trillion – a nearly $6 trillion increase compared to the national debt in 2020 before the pandemic sent Congress on a record spending spree. 

FILE PHOTO: The United States Capitol is seen at night on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The INFORM Act would create two government reporting standards for the national debt, deficit and the ways in which debt affects certain groups of people over time. The legislation would target any bill that impacts 0.5% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) over 10 years.

Republican Reps. Bill Johnson of Ohio, Randy Weber of Texas, Dan Bishop of Ohio, Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, William Timmons of South Carolina, Dan Crenshaw of Texas and Ted Budd of North Carolina are co-sponsoring the legislation.

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President Biden on Wednesday met with a group of Democrats as the Party jockeys for control in a narrowly divided Congress, a battle that could ultimately derail both parts of Biden's agenda: The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and a second, $3.5 trillion package that Democrats plan to pass along party lines via budget reconciliation. 

At the heart of the division is a fight for leverage over the size and scope of the reconciliation bill: Progressives say that $3.5 trillion is the bare minimum needed to vastly expand the social safety net and combat climate change. Centrists, however, are wary of another multitrillion-dollar bill – funded by a slew of new taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, no less – after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the U.S. deficit to a record high. 

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With their incredibly slim congressional majorities, Democrats face a delicate balancing act in pursuing their so-called "two-track" agenda – approving both a bipartisan deal and a larger tax and spending bill – or they risk losing the support of either moderate or progressive members. 

Fox Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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