Texas congressmen join Leading SA to discuss temporary lift of debt ceiling

Congressmen Tony Gonzales (R, D23) and Henry Cuellar (D, D28) talk Capitol Hill developments

This week has been a whirlwind on Capitol Hill. There have been discussions about everything from the debt ceiling, to the spending bill, to the infrastructure bill. So what exactly does that mean for us here in San Antonio?

Congressman Tony Gonzales (R, District 23) and Congressman Henry Cuellar (D, District 28) joined Leading SA on Sunday to break it all down.

“The debt ceiling is essentially the maximum amount of money the United States can have. You can borrow utilizing bonds and the danger and defaulting on any loan. Will it impact all of us? Certainly will impact the stock market. Certainly will impact our retirement savings and things of that nature. So it’s important that in Washington, we ensure that the debt ceiling does not default,” Congressman Tony Gonzales said.

Right now it looks like there is a temporary fix, but the situation will be readdressed in December.

I wish we would have not kicked it down the road because when we talk about the debt ceiling, it’s to raise it so we can go ahead and borrow the money for what’s been spent. For example, President Trump added seven trillion dollars to the debt doing this for years. So we have to pay that debt and other debts have been accumulated by both Democrats and Republicans,” Congressman Henry Cuellar said.

There are a lot of bills on the table on Capitol Hill, but if the debt ceiling is not figured out, it would be problematic for people around the country and here in San Antonio.

“The reality is up in Washington. Democrats control everything, they control the House, they control the Senate and the White House. So when you’re the party in power, it is your job to ensure that the debt, the debt ceiling and other government functions do not get defaulted. They could. They could pass this without having a Republican vote, like many things that they can pass without having a Republican vote,” Congressman Tony Gonzales said.

We both understand that we have to address that. Three hundred and seventy-eight billion dollars that we pay every year on interest, the imagined interest that we’re paying right now, $378 billion a year. We got to do something about this debt,” Congressman Cuellar said.

The last thing either lawmaker wants to see is a default. Another point of contention is the proposed $3.5 trillion dollar spending bill.

Everybody talks about $3.5 trillion. I’ll tell you, Max and Sarah, I was not in the room when somebody came up with $3.5 trillion. Some people got that number and they want to fill it up with taxes and they want to fill it up with spending. That’s not the way we do a budget. We look at what are the necessities, so we need to look at what can we afford,” Congressman Cuellar said.

You can watch the full interviews in the video player above.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.