KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The federal government's messy balance sheet and a problem-plagued air travel system are just two of the topics East Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett addresses Sunday on WBIR's "Inside Tennessee".
While it's not sexy, the Knoxville native said the country's most pressing problem is the high amount of debt it keeps issuing while failing to control spending. Last week, the U.S. Treasury Department warned the U.S. had once again hit its borrowing limit -- about $31.4 trillion.
Without adjustments, the county will run out of cash on hand. June is the likely crunch time -- the month by which the debt ceiling will have to be resolved.
It's worth noting that in December Congress passed a $1.7 billion fiscal bill that ensures federal spending will continue no matter what.
Repeatedly in the past, Congress has raised the amount of debt the U.S. can issue, allowing government operations to proceed.
Following November elections, Republicans now narrowly control the U.S. House, and some emboldened members are ready to take on the Biden White House.
The Republican Burchett said he's ready for a standoff.
"The truth is, we've got to address this at some point," he said. "We just keep kicking this can down the road. And it's just, we've seen this runaway inflation in the last couple of years. And we're gonna see more of that."
The real danger for Americans occurs if the rest of the world fears the country will default on its debt. That would shake financial markets.
Burchett also is now a majority member on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The U.S. air travel system is chaotic and airlines are largely to blame, he said.
Airline lobbyists wield too much influence on Capitol Hill, and the airlines upon which millions of travelers rely every year aren't being held accountable for the way they're conducting business, Burchett said.
The congressman, a former Knox County mayor who first was elected to a state House seat almost 30 years ago, also said he opposes giving any more military aid or money to Ukraine. Russia, he said, is a paper tiger.
Burchett also talks about his new appointment to the high-profile, bound-to-be controversial House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. Its chairman, James Comer of Kentucky, has vowed to explore every aspect of the Biden family, which he asserts has profited for years off Joe Biden's political career.
The committee is sure to be a darling of pundits on Fox News and Newsmax. Its members include Republicans Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Paul Gosar.
Greene and Gosar previously were stripped of committee assignments when the Democrats ran the House in the last session of Congress.
You can watch the full interview 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 22, on WBIR.