Sen. Lankford: ‘It Will be Decades’ Before U.S. Pays Off $3.78T in Debt Added this Year

By John Jakubisin | August 6, 2020 | 4:36pm EDT
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)  (Getty Images)
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- When asked to predict when the federal government will pay off the federal debt for this fiscal year alone, which currently is $3.78 trillion, Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said “it will be decades,” and only if Congress gets “serious” about reducing spending.  

At the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, CNS News asked Sen. Lankford, “So far in fiscal 2020, the federal debt has increased $3.78 trillion. When do you predict the government will pay off the debt it added this year?"

The senator responded, “It will be decades, actually, and that’s the frustration. In a typical family, or in a typical business, you have a rainy day fund, and you know there will be a time of emergency, and so you can draw from it.”

“The challenge that we have is debt and deficit have been ignored for decades now, it's built up over $26 trillion,” said Lankford. “And then when you do have an emergency, and you have got to be taking emergency action, you’re adding one on top of the other.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“So it is decades before this is paid off,” he said, “and that is if we can get Congress to be serious, to slow down spending, and to be able to resolve this.”

The fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. On Sept. 30, 2019, the total federal debt was $22,719,402,000,000.  On Aug. 4, 2020, it was $26,503,236,000,000.

The increase totals $3,783,834,000,000. 

Recently, both Democrats and Republicans have debated a new spending bill on COVID-19 relief. The Democrats plan, proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is called the HEROES act and totals $3.4 trillion. It was passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, 2020. 

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced the HEALS act, which totals $1 trillion.

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