Congress needs to take up entitlement reform: Rep. Gaetz

Congress is nearing a $1.3 trillion spending deal ahead of a Friday government shutdown deadline.

In an interview with FOX Business’ Lou Dobbs, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said allowing the deficit to escalate will drive the economy into despair and threatens to hurt U.S. military readiness.

“My problem is that I am not willing to fund the military in exchange for hallowing out the country that they’re fighting to save here at home,” he said Wednesday.

GOP lawmakers are aiming to fully fund national defense at levels House Speaker Paul Ryan describes as the "biggest increase in defense spending in 15 years."

Gaetz said elected officials must keep their promise to the American people to prioritize spending and reform entitlements.

“Make people who can go to work actually go to work and not live off the government,” he said.