Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana said in a statement Monday she could resign from Congress if lawmakers fail to establish a commission to study ways to reduce the U.S. national debt.
Spartz is one of several lawmakers who has demanded that the House of Representatives pass a bill establishing a fiscal commission that would study how to reduce the U.S. national debt and make recommendations to Congress, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CFRB).
On Monday, Spartz issued a press release threatening to resign from Congress if such a commission is not delivered.
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“[T]here is a limitation to human capacity. If Congress does not pass a debt commission this year to move the needle on the crushing national debt and inflation, at least at the next debt ceiling increase at the end of 2024, I will not continue sacrificing my children for this circus with a complete absence of leadership, vision, and spine,” Spartz wrote in her press release. “I cannot save this Republic alone,” she added.
Spartz’s effort to include a commission in a continuing resolution to fund the government failed after the House Democratic leadership declined to include the measure in the bill. McCarthy had previously agreed to the establishment of a commission regarding debt reduction, according to a Capitol Hill staff member speaking on background to the DCNF.
Spartz’s announcement comes at a critical time for McCarthy amid an announcement by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida that he will file a “motion to vacate the chair,” which would oust McCarthy from the speakership if passed. Such a motion requires the support of merely one member to initiate, a rule that was agreed upon in January during negotiations to elect McCarthy to the speakership, which took fifteen rounds.
McCarthy can only afford to lose five Republican votes against the motion, assuming all Democrats vote in favor of vacating the chair. Should Spartz resign before a vote and the Democratic Caucus maintain its current composition, that margin would drop to four votes, with Spartz’s office saying that she was “open-minded” on whether or not to support McCarthy.
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Spartz is a two-term member of Congress who will be retiring at the end of her current term. She is an immigrant from Ukraine and has spoken out frequently about the country’s ongoing war against Russia, sometimes against officials in the administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Spartz’s effort to establish a debt commission is backed, in principle, by lawmakers from both parties such as Democratic Reps. Ami Bera of California and Ed Case of Hawaii as well as Republican Reps. Bill Huzeinga of Missouri, Tom Cole of Oklahoma, and David Schweikert of Arizona, according to the CFRB.
McCarthy’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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