IN Brief

Spartz threatens to resign from Congress unless a national debt commission is formed

By: - October 2, 2023 11:58 am

U.S. Rep Victoria Spartz of Indiana. (Courtesy Spartz for Congress)

U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana threatened on Monday to resign from Congress if no debt commission is passed this year.

Her departure would reduce the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and create the possibility that Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb would have to call a special election before May.

Spartz announced in February that she will not run for re-election in 2024 to focus more on her family.

“I’ve done many very difficult things being one woman standing many times with many very long hours and personal sacrifices, but there is a limitation to human capacity,” Spartz said in a statement. “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. I cannot save this Republic alone.”

With just hours to spare — and after days of fierce debate among lawmakers — Congress avoided a government shutdown on Saturday with a temporary spending plan. The deal will keep the government open for 45 days while policymakers hash out a more long-term budget.

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.

– U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz

Indiana’s Congressional delegation was mostly split on the plan. GOP Reps. Jim Baird, Larry Bucshon and Erin Houchin, along with Democrat Reps. Andre Carson and Frank Mrvan, voted in favor of the measure in the House. 

Indiana GOP Sen. Todd Young voted for the plan, but Sen. Mike Braun did not.

Spartz and fellow Republican Reps. Jim Banks, Greg Pence and Rudy Yakym voted against it.

Spartz and other Republicans in the House continue to push for the formation of a bipartisan debt commission to focus on the long-term effort to curb government spending and bring down the national debt.

An earlier spending bill voted on in the House last week would have created the bipartisan commission but ultimately failed to pass. The latest version approved over the weekend did not include language on the commission.

Spartz criticized the deal on WISH-TV on Sunday, and said, too, that she’s “open-minded” about Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz’s threat to force a vote to remove Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.

“This deal has more money, actually more money than Nancy Pelosi gave to Biden, but doesn’t have a plan to deal with the country’s crushing debt,” Spartz said. “(The debt) is a very important national security issue, but unfortunately Republicans didn’t have the backbone to put it forward.”

The conservative Ukrainian-born politician represents north-central Indiana in the Fifth District.

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Casey Smith
Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.

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