CAGW Names Rep. Peter Welch Porker of the Month | Citizens Against Government Waste

CAGW Names Rep. Peter Welch Porker of the Month

Porker of the Month

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2013


Contact:  Leslie K. Paige 202-467-5334 Luke Gelber 202-467-5318

CAGW Names Rep. Peter Welch Porker of the Month

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) its January 2013 Porker of the Month for advocating a clean and unilateral debt ceiling hike by President Obama.  Rep. Welch began distributing a letter in December, 2012, citing the Fourteenth Amendment as the basis for the President to “preserve America’s full faith and credit and prevent further damage to our economy,” thus circumventing the legal authority to raise the debt ceiling that rests solely with the Congress.  The letter currently has 114 signatures.

In addition to abrogating the law, Rep. Welch’s letter also failed to acknowledge that the accumulation of debt, not the debt ceiling vote, is the crux of the nation’s fiscal problems.  Congress has reached its own self-imposed borrowing limit sooner than expected because Washington cannot control its runaway spending.  Rep. Welch’s hand-wringing over the previous debt ceiling negotiations, which he claims resulted in “an additional $18.9 billion in interest over 10 years and America’s first ever credit downgrade,” is a shining example of confusing the symptom for the disease.  By far the biggest drivers of additional interest on the debt are the four consecutive trillion-dollar deficits racked up over the last four years.    

“The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in 1868, contains 33 words on the national debt,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.  “It states that ‘the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.’  Since the debt ceiling did not exist in its current form until 1917, Rep. Welch’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment is very loose indeed.”     

Rep. Welch has been busy this month.  On January 14, 2013, he revealed that he had founded the 26-member bipartisan “Problem Solvers” group on Capitol Hill in an effort to “break the gridlock in Congress.”  One wonders if a member of Congress so eager for the President to expand his powers for partisan reasons is the ideal founder of such a group.  

For demanding that Congress be allowed to continue ignoring its massive spending problem and for advocating unilateral executive power over borrowing, Rep. Peter Welch is CAGW’s January 2013 Porker of the Month.     

CAGW is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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