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Kevin McCarthy claims 'the debt and China' are the 'greatest threats' to the US after Trump oversaw a $7.8 trillion national-debt increase

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President Donald Trump speaks as he joined by House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the Rose Garden of the White House on January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said the debt was one of the two biggest threats to the US.

  • But under President Donald Trump, the GOP largely shed its fiscal conservatism.

  • McCarthy pushed the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts, which are expected to add almost $2 trillion to the debt.

  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said during a foreign-policy panel on Thursday that the national debt was one of the two biggest threats facing the US, despite his role in dramatically expanding the debt.

Under President Donald Trump, the GOP largely shed its fiscal conservatism and supported a slew of policies that increased the debt. During Trump’s single term in office, he oversaw the third-largest increase in the deficit, relative to the size of the economy, of any presidential administration, ProPublica reported.

“Our greatest threats going forward is the debt and China,” McCarthy said on Thursday.

McCarthy was central to the GOP’s efforts to pass the 2017 tax cuts, which favored wealthy Americans and corporations and are expected to add almost $2 trillion to the debt over 10 years.

A spokesperson for McCarthy didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Between January 2017 and January 2021, the debt grew by nearly $7.8 trillion, rising to its highest level relative to gross domestic product since World War II. A big chunk of that debt was created by $3 trillion in emergency spending on COVID-19 relief, but the debt had already skyrocketed before the pandemic hit last year.

In 2019, McCarthy said if his party won control of the House, their top priority would be to “make sure our debt is taken care of.” Now congressional Republicans say they’ll oppose a debt-limit increase, which would allow the federal government to borrow more money to cover its spending commitments.

While many Democrats have for years rejected conservative concerns about deficit spending, President Joe Biden has said the trillions he’s spending on COVID-19 relief – and likely on infrastructure and caregiving – will be paid for by way of tax increases on the wealthy.

Read the original article on Business Insider