Kevin McCarthy Fact Checked With Trump’s Massive Addition to National Debt

Newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was fact checked on Sunday about former President Donald Trump’s massive addition to the national debt while discussing the possibility of a default on the budget.

McCarthy, a California Republican, sat down with CBS’ Face the Nation to talk about a wide-ranging list of topics including the national debt, meeting with President Joe Biden, new House committees, and embattled Representative George Santos, a New York Republican.

When asked by host Margaret Brennan what he is willing to put on the table in regard to fiscal responsibility, McCarthy responded that he wants to strengthen Social Security and Medicare.

“What I want to look at is, they’ve [Democrats] increased spending by 30 percent, 400 billion dollars in four years,” McCarthy said. “When you look at what they have done, adding 10 trillion dollars of debt for the next 10 years in the short time period…they never even passed a bill through appropriations in the Senate.”

“We’ve got to get our spending under control,” McCarthy added. Brennan, however, quickly responded to the House speaker and said, “Just fact check though, 25 percent of the debt was incurred during the last four years of the Trump presidency.”

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, during the four years of the Trump administration, the national debt rose by $7.8 trillion. That addition makes up 24.8 percent of the current $31 trillion national debt. Notably, during the end of Trump’s presidency, the Coronavirus Relief and Spending Bill passed, adding roughly $3.7 trillion to the national debt.

Using the same metric provided by the Treasury, former President Barack Obama contributed what amounts to 29.7% of the present national debt by adding $9.3 trillion. Biden is presently responsible for 11.7% of the national debt, contributing over $3.6 trillion.

Former President Donald Trump arrives to deliver remarks at the South Carolina State House on Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina. Inset, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is seen. McCarthy was fact checked on Sunday about Trump’s massive addition to the national debt while discussing the possibility of a default on the budget. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) / (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Political analyst Craig Agranoff told Newsweek on Sunday, “To address the national debt issue, both political parties need to recognize its gravity and work together to control it. This issue transcends party affiliations and requires a joint effort. They love blaming each other but should all look in the mirror.”

He added: “The national debt has increased under nearly every U.S. president. However, the president who raised it the most in terms of raw dollars is Barack Obama, who increased it by close to $9 trillion during his two terms in office. That’s trillion with a T! President Trump increased the national debt by not as high an amount but still trillions over the course of his 4-year term in office.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has repeated claims that defaulting on the national debt “would cause widespread damage to the U.S. economy.”

In a letter sent to McCarthy and other Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, Yellen wrote that the Treasury anticipates implementing two measures to avoid breaching the debt limit: redeeming existing and suspending new investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, as well as suspending reinvestment of the Government Securities Investment Fund of the Federal Employees Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan.

Yellen predicted that the current measures will last the country until June.

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