Chairman McGovern to Republicans on the Debt Ceiling: Get Out of the Way So We Can Clean up Your Mess

Chairman McGovern to Republicans on the Debt Ceiling: Get Out of the Way So We Can Clean up Your Mess
Urges Republicans to stop the games so Democrats can pay off our debts, 97% of which were racked up before President Biden took office 

**Video of his remarks is available here**

WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) today opened debate on the rule for consideration of S. 1301, a bill to temporarily extend the public debt limit, by demanding Congressional Republicans allow Democrats to pay off our debts without delay. Congressional Republicans have demanded Democrats raise the debt ceiling unilaterally despite the fact that 97% of the debts necessitating this increase were racked up before President Biden took office, and the fact that many of the debts were incurred on a bipartisan basis. Congressional Republicans continue to block Congressional Democrats from raising the debt ceiling on their own. 

Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen announced yesterday that the Treasury Department is set to exhaust extraordinary measures and cash on hand October 18th. Since 2011, each of the seven times that the debt limit has been addressed, Congress has done so on a bipartisan basis, including three times under the last administration. 

Highlights from Chairman McGovern’s remarks as prepared for delivery are included below, and video of his remarks is available here:

  • M. Speaker, having just sat through a Rules Committee meeting, it’s a pleasant surprise that the Republicans have now rediscovered the issue of the debt. Wow! Where the hell where you for the past four years 
  • Where was your concern when you all passed a tax cut bill for the wealthy that the CBO projected would add $1.9 trillion to the deficit? That’s trillion with a “T”. And that’s even after taking into account any effects from economic growth. Give me a break!
  • M. Speaker, the question before us today is this: will the United States of America pay its bills? I wish that was hyperbole. We always have. The United States has never defaulted. Not once. But the actions of my friends on the other side have made the world seriously wonder about the full faith and credit of this nation.
  • Defaulting on our debt would lead to economic catastrophe on a global scale. Unemployment would rise, the stock market would crater, interest rates would skyrocket, imports would become more expensive, and inflation would increase. Every single American would be hurt. 
  • Our country would be thrown into a recession virtually overnight. This is the type of disaster that Republicans are flirting with here, M. Speaker. 
  • Economists estimate that defaulting on our debts even for just a few hours could cost taxpayers hundreds of billions over the next decade.
  • So, to my friends on the other side: I get it. You’re not going to vote for this. Even though 97 percent of what is necessitating us needing to raise the debt ceiling was accumulated before President Biden even took office. Many of it was racked up under President Trump on your watch when you controlled Congress. Still, you’re not going to vote to do the responsible thing here. That’s crystal clear.
  • But, please, get out of the way. And tell your friends in the Senate to get out of the way, too.
  • Let us pass this. Let us do the responsible thing. We’re good at cleaning up your mess. Let’s pass this rule and the underlying legislation. Let’s step back from the brink. Let’s prevent an avoidable economic meltdown. And let’s do what America has always done: pay its bills.

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Sep 29, 2021