ABILENE, Texas (BIGCOUNTRYHOMEPAGE) – United States District 19 Congressman Jodey Arrington is leading a bi-partisan congressional energy export caucus. Our very own Manny Diaz sat down with Arrington to talk about what that would mean for the production of energy moving forward, especially here in Texas.

The 118th Congress officially got underway back in January where Arrington serves as the representative for District 19. He was selected as chairman of the House Budget Committee, the first republican to do so since the 116th congress.

“Well, it’s a huge honor because it is a tremendous responsibility,” Arrington expressed.

Some of the tasks at hand are to resource the government and ensure the priorities of the U.S. are reflected in the budget.

“The problem is, our budget is broken, the process is broken, the country is heading towards bankruptcy, essentially because we’re spending more than we’re bringing in revenue, that’s a deficit,” Arrington explained.

This has occurred over the years to amount to a national debt of 31 trillion dollars, the highest amount of debt per GDP in the history of the United States.

“We’re on an unsustainable debt trajectory and I get to lead the charge for the conference and for congress to restore fiscal sanity in Washington,” Arrington added. “To me, the budget is the most important because it affects every program, every department from defense to agriculture.”

The budget can also impact the U.S. with a debt or financial crisis, something Arrington does not want to leave for the next generation to inherit.

“We have to intervene now or our children, unfortunately, will inherit a weaker country and a worse economy if we don’t,” Arrington expressed.

In the past, Arrington has said the committee will not let politicians bankrupt the country and destroy children’s futures. He shared he plans to get the republican house in order.

“Let me say, from the outside, republicans have contributed their fair share to our physical mess and to this national debt,” Arrington explained. “I think more recently, it’s been president Biden and democrats, we’ve seen five trillion dollars in just two years in addition to the inflation and soaring interest rates.”

The projection from the Congressional Budget Office for annual deficits sits approximately at half a trillion dollars. Arrington pointed out that in ten years, that would be a total of three trillion. At that point, he said the U.S. would be paying more on interest payments (over a trillion dollars) than all national defenses, veterans and health services combined.

“That’s unacceptable, that’s unsustainable and we have to rein in the spending number one, then we would have to restore regular order,” Arrington said.

Arrington said the U.S. needs to spend less while growing the economy to rise out of this situation, similar to the strategy after World War II.

In the State of the union, president Biden said that republicans want to cut social security and medicare, but Arrington said that is not the case.

“We want to strengthen and save those programs, health care and retirement security, in the form of medicare and social security, are critical safety nets for seniors,” Arrington said. “But we don’t only need to protect them for seniors today, we have to strengthen them for the seniors of tomorrow.”

In order to do this, he said republicans and democrats need to work together.

“Republicans and democrats, as we’ve done in the past, have to get in a room, act like adults, and find consensus/solutions to the solvency issues within those programs,” Arrington said.

Arrington has reintroduced a Congressional Energy Export Caucus. He said that West Texas is the capital for energy production and shares clean, low-cost fuel with consumers and allies in need, such as Europe. Due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Russia has not been supplying Europe with the fossil fuels that they rely on.

“This is why America can never be dependent on another country or other sources outside of our domestic production because you’ll be held hostage,” Arrington said. “It will be used as a geo-political baseball bat.”

He added what he believes the U.S. should focus on regarding trade, allies and energy.

“We need to focus on trade deals, infrastructure investments like LNG terminals across the country, and ports like the Port of Houston and Galveston,” Arrington stated. “We’re upstream. We got to help the downstream guys and the transmission of this product so that we can benefit economically so that our allies can benefit from a national security perspective. I’m proud to work with Henry Cuellar, Lou Correa my two Democrat colleagues, and Carol Miller from West Virginia. All of us are pro-America energy.”

With recent events, Arrington plans to address the crimes, drugs, and violence at the border.

“In this case, what we try to do was look at the federal law and say, ‘How do we deter these violent riots and how do we hold criminals accountable who assault — federal law enforcement officers,” Arrington shared.

Another hot topic is the balloon that was shot down after drifting across the United States, something that Arrington believes was done too late.

“I’m very concerned that this administration and the leadership at the Pentagon knew of the first Chinese spy balloon,” Arrington said. “This administration allowed this Chinese spy balloon to just drift across the continental United States without an intervention or any plan to intercept it, that is unacceptable.”

Arrington shared that he believes Biden’s actions may create a larger issue.

“I think the greatest national security risk to our country is the incompetence of our current president and the weakness it’s projecting to the world, Arrington said. “And that weakness is inviting aggression, it did in Russia, versus Ukraine, and their provoked invasion of that sovereign country.”

Arrington added that if the U.S. could not stop a balloon earlier, he worries how the U.S. would stop other possible threats such as an intercontinental missile from Iran. He said he has questions too and has no doubt that there will be people who will have to answer and be held accountable.