Sen. Braun: ‘Yes,' Gov't Spends Too Much -- I Voted Against Defense Reauthorization Bill’

Cody Leach | July 12, 2019 | 11:51am EDT
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Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)
(Getty Images)

( -- Asked if the federal government spends too much money, Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said yes, adding that it’s a terrible example for the rest of the country. He pointed to his willingness to tackle uncontrolled spending by his no vote on the Defense reauthorization bill.

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, asked Senator Braun, “The federal government spent $4.1 trillion in fiscal 2019 and ran a deficit of $779 billion. Does the government spend too much money?”

The senator said, “Well, you know what my answer is going to be, yes, and categorically, yes. It’s a terrible example for the rest of the country, for state governments, for any other part.”

“And of course, I ran on that theme, along with reforming healthcare, taking on the healthcare industry -- don’t be apologists for a broken industry that says they’re free enterprise, they’re not,” he said.  “I’m free enterprise in the way I built my business and most other businessmen have.”

“But when it comes to the biggest business in the world, the federal government which is about eight times the size of Walmart, who else can run a 20% loss each year?” said Braun.  “If you do the math, that’s about what it is and it’s going to get worse in the future -- and then throw it on a credit card? I think it’s an embarrassment.” then asked the senator, “What federal department or agency would you eliminate?”

He replied, “Well, I voted against the Defense reauthorization bill even though I think defense is the most important thing we should do, along with infrastructure and shoring up the entitlement programs, which many people depend on.”

“Just do those three things,” he said, “do it to where we balance our budget, and I’ve been for across the board [cuts] and that’s why I didn’t vote for the Defense Reauthorization Bill is because it went from $590 billion to around $700, to $716 and now up to $750.”

“To me that’s hypocritical for us conservatives and Republicans,” said the senator. “We certainly want a strong defense. How do you think we’ll ever get Democrats to want to live within our means, if we want them to cut everything and we’re not willing to do it on our pet projects -- isn’t that common sense?”

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