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Sen. Corker calls Congress & Trump administration 'one of the most fiscally irresponsible'

In this Dec. 5, 2017 file photo, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., listens during a meeting of the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate Finance Committee chairman on Monday rejected as "categorically false" a report that Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was responsible for a provision in the final tax bill that could help him financially. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Tennessee Senator Bob Corker had strong words for Congress and President Trump's administration during Wednesday's hearing on the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) budget and economic outlook for fiscal years 2018 to 2028.

Corker, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, says Congress as a whole and the Trump administration have neglected fiscal responsibility.

“None of us have covered ourselves in glory,” said Corker. “This Congress and this administration likely will go down as one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations and Congresses that we’ve had.”

Recent analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Government showed that the vote to increase the discretionary spending caps in the recent $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill, if made permanent, would add $2 trillion to the national debt, including interest costs.

Senator Corker voted against that spending bill, calling it “one of the most grotesque pieces of legislation I can remember.”

Corker said that members of both parties have been careless on deficits, and incapable of addressing the country's fiscal instability.

“But, let’s face it… both sides of the aisle are totally remiss as it relates to deficits,” concluded Corker. “I listen to this partisan bickering over blaming people, it’s ridiculous. We are absolutely not capable of dealing with our country’s finances, and, of course, a big part of it is the American people don’t really want it to be controlled.”

The federal government recorded a budget deficit of $208.7 billion in March, an increase of more than $32 billion from a year ago as revenues slipped and expenditures climbed.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the February deficit was 18.4 percent higher than a year ago, largely due to increased expenditures on benefits for the military, veterans and recipients of supplemental security income as well as higher Medicare payments because April expenses were paid in March.

For the first five months of this budget year, the deficit has totaled $599.7 billion. This is an increase of 13.8 percent from the same period a year ago.

After President Donald Trump signed into law tax cuts, the Congressional Budget Office estimates this year's deficit will hit $804 billion, up almost $140 billion from last year. The deficit is projected to reach $981 billion in 2019. It would then exceed $1 trillion for the foreseeable future.

Rising federal debt loads stemming from the $1.5 trillion worth of tax cuts over the next decade could provide a brief boost to economic growth, but the costs of servicing the debt could also be a drag on growth in the long term and possibly make it harder for the government to respond to an economic downturn.

"Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences for the budget and the nation," CBO Director Keith Hall said Monday. "In particular, the likelihood of a fiscal crisis in the United States would increase."

You can watch the full hearing below:


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