Congresswoman Considers Resigning Over Debt, Border Inaction

Congresswoman Considers Resigning Over Debt, Border Inaction

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“I’m sick and tired of the gamesmanship when we’re dealing with people’s lives,” a Republican congresswoman from Indiana says, threatening to quit over the GOP House leadership’s inaction on the national debt, the open southern U.S. border, and Ukraine war funding

Rep. Victoria Spartz, in her second term representing Indiana’s 5th Congressional District, joined The Daily Signal for an exclusive interview, describing the House’s fight over spending and leadership ahead of the 2024 campaign season.

On Monday, Spartz, 44, released a press statement announcing that she would consider resigning from Congress if “no debt commission [is] passed this year,” intoning that she “will not continue sacrificing my children for this circus with a complete absence of leadership, vision, and spine.”

Spartz told The Daily Signal that this lack of leadership—which she claimed stems from now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.—has manifested itself in abandoning her “three hills to die on,” focal points she says her constituents care about the most: the massive national debt, the crisis on the southern U.S. border, and omnibus appropriations bills.

Spartz said that the national debt, currently more than $33 trillion, has resulted in a sharp surge in inflation since the printing presses began running “around the clock” during the COVID-19 pandemic. She described the U.S. border crisis and appropriations for Ukraine as “national security issues.”

The Indiana lawmaker, who emigrated from Ukraine in 2000, said that the U.S. should ensure its own borders were secure first. “We have to deal with material issues for the American people. We must put America first and deliver for Americans.”

Spartz cited the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, in which Ukraine gave up its portion of Soviet nuclear weapons in exchange for promises of its territorial integrity, as a qualifier for the U.S.’ involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war. She also decried both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping as “petty dictators.” 

Though she thinks that America should be aiding Ukraine, Spartz said it’s “critical” that we address our own national security first.

If addressing her three top issues is deferred until 2024, as McCarthy had suggested with the national debt conversation, Spartz says that those problems won’t be solved at all—because 2024 will be “campaigning, fundraising, and pure politics.” She told The Daily Signal that she didn’t want to waste the time of the American people away from her family by being reduced to a “talking head” in an environment where everyone is only focused on “the next election.”

When Spartz was asked why she would threaten to resign when her current term is not even half-over, and she isn’t seeking reelection anyway, she responded that she was being open with Hoosiers about what she was willing to do.

It’s not a threat. It’s an effort to be transparent. I [suggested that I would] consider resigning because I’m trying to communicate to the American people what it’s like in Washington. I think we need to communicate better to people that the next few months are going to be very important—and if we don’t treat these decisions as consequential, as an opportunity to win for the American people, then nothing is going to happen next year.

Some criticized the statement as theatrical, which Spartz pushed back against.

I say what I mean, and mean what I say. I believe the place to be is here [in Congress], but I don’t want to be a talking head. I can do a lot of things, but ultimately, Congress is a team, and if we don’t have leaders willing to lead—then it’s like what Gen. George Patton said: ‘Lead, follow, or get the hell out of my way.’

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.