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US Rep. Moore: Compromise needed to solve nation’s debt dilemma

By John McCabe - Special to the Standard-Examiner | May 24, 2023

George Frey, Associated Press

Utah Rep. Blake Moore talks to supporters during a Utah Republican election night party on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in South Jordan.

WASHINGTON — For Rep. Blake Moore, tackling the nation’s growing debt has become personal.

The second-term Republican from Utah’s 1st Congressional District said he has grown tired of the rhetoric and “blame game” that both parties use to ensure that nothing more than additional spending takes place in Washington. Instead of being part of the problem, Moore instead says he wants to find solutions — and not just from folks inside the beltway.

He formed a working group of about a dozen community and business leaders from around Ogden to help provide suggestions on how to responsibly handle the debt. The recommendations from that group helped him get noticed by House leadership, and Moore soon found himself on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

He now is part of a small task force within the House that recommended a debt ceiling increase along with responsible cuts in federal spending. Republicans unanimously backed that group’s recommendations, which has led to the current negotiations between the Biden administration and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on how to handle the debt ceiling crisis.

“We got (the House bill) over to the Senate, and for anybody to try to blame us for any issue going on the default, we did our job,” Moore said. “Why did (President Joe) Biden waste so much time? We’ve gave them months to start negotiations. … They want to take this to brinkmanship because he knows that most (national) media sources will communicate what the left wants to hear on this. …

“We want there to be substantive talks (on the debt ceiling). We want to find a solution and then we’ll go to the next step. … We can’t just continue to carry this much debt … or that’s going to be the story of the rest of America’s future.”

Moore said he was disappointed that Senate leadership did not even discuss the House bill to raise the debt ceiling. Along with an increase in the debt limit, the House bill also calls for significant cuts to federal spending over the next decade.

“I am impressed and appreciative that at least Senate Republicans are united around our effort, and they are very supportive of us,” he said. “They didn’t try to step in and undermine us and I think once we got it done, they needed to get going. But that’s more on (Senate President Chuck) Schumer at this point, though.”

For the country to move forward on this issue and others, there have to be leaders from both parties willing to talk to one another and work out a deal. That’s not happening right now, Moore said.

Both sides “have to be willing to make some concessions. That’s what split government does,” he said. “And I love hearing people like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) say it, too. You know, every time there’s split government, there are concessions made,” and the nation moves forward.

“I’m somebody that appreciates what the founders created, that sometimes 70% is the best you can do. And we can make some good positive movement. We’ll get there. I think this is a situation where that’s the case.”

As for the provisions the House is seeking as part of its debt ceiling increase, Moore said he is supportive of rebuilding a “culture of work” in America. He said Utah should be used as a model for the rest of the nation because of how the state has been able to build such a culture.

“Utah has an incredible track record of being able to successfully come up with new, unique, innovative ways to get people who have been through tough stuff, and they’ll go through tough stuff or they’re stuck in a cycle of poverty, to get those people back to work,” he said. “Statistics show that in Utah, if you’re born in the lowest 20th percentile of the income level, you have the best chance of getting into the top 20th percentile. So we’re good at that.”

The House request that those on entitlement programs at least look for work “is not unreasonable,” Moore said. “We’re just saying able-bodied folks that can work, you have to be willing to do it. And that’s the best way to approach it.”


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