Rep. Ralph Norman Warns of Ticking Time Bomb as Interest Burden Grows

Rep. Ralph Norman Warns of Ticking Time Bomb as Interest Burden Grows
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) at a hearing in the US Capitol in Washington on Sept. 30, 2020. (Greg Nash/POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
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During Wednesday’s “Reigniting American Growth and Prosperity Series: Removing the Burdens of Government Overreach” hearing, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) expressed reservations about President Joe Biden’s policy and fiscal responsibility, insisting the mounting interest burden facing the nation is a ticking time bomb.
“We’ve got $660 billion in interest alone. That’s going to surpass our military budget.,” he said. “You’ve got to face it at some point.”
House Democrats are largely united in their condemnation of debt ceiling negotiations. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called the actions of Republicans “reckless” and “irresponsible” as the U.S. government approaches insolvency.
“The stakes of a default cannot be understated,” Ocasio-Cortez said on CNN Tuesday, suggesting it would bring chaos. “It’s reckless; it’s irresponsible. It will hurt rural communities; it will hurt urban communities. It will hurt seniors.”
Norman called for fiscal prudence in Washington and said the current framing on the debt ceiling debate distracts from the greater problem of irresponsible spending.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks as Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) listen during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 15, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks as Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) listen during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on July 15, 2019. (Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
“My friends on the other side of the aisle say we use it as leverage.” he said. “We’re using it to bring some sanity back to this government.”
The South Carolina lawmaker sits on the House Budget Committee and, hailing from the construction business, cast doubt on the notion that the government must intervene into the economy to create jobs.
“Janet Yellen has never created a job in her life. That’s the problem,” he said. “You have unelected bureaucrats making policy and spending.”
“It’s easy to spend other people’s money.”
By focusing on the lack of first-hand job creation experience among policymakers, the congressman highlighted the potential challenges posed by relying solely on U.S. officials for economic decision-making. Norman likewise expressed doubts that attempts to transform federal transportation systems to green energy would prove feasible.
“I’ve never seen a battery operated dump truck... I’ve never seen an 18-wheeler operate on batteries nor do I get on an airplane and fly out on batteries,” he said. “Yet this administration thinks that—all of a sudden—we can have a magic change and go to electric vehicles.” 
“Is it unfair to ask people before they get a government check to go to work?”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in Washington on April 28, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in Washington on April 28, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Some progressives have said Biden could pay a price with voters if he cuts a budget deal with the Republicans. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was among them.
“The president—I’m sure he’s thinking about the fact that it was a very vibrant, diverse coalition that put them in the White House, and he’s going to need that vibrant, diverse coalition again for 2024,” she told NBC News.
“Everything that we got done was done because of a partnership and trust and respect between the White House and and the Democratic caucus, including the progressive base,” Jayapal said.
“I think he just needs to remember that because I think the backlash will be significant if somehow we were to get bullied into a bad deal.”