|7:31 PM EDT||
John Garamendi, D-CA 10th
Mr. GARAMENDI. I want to thank my colleague from California for reminding all of us that there are consequences for what we do here. This current wholly manufactured debt crisis has people very, very nervous.
The women that Ms. Speier talked about, concerned and nervous about their Social Security checks, whether they will be able to get their medical care, and today's Wall Street Journal, the first five items on what's news, various businesses around the world and financial institutions being prepared for the first time ever in America's history that our debt may not be worth a hoot. It may be worthless, that [Page: H5640]
we're going to default. This is a totally
manufactured, unnecessary crisis. We didn't have to be here.
I want us all to step back a little ways, step back to December 2010, when we had another manufactured crisis. It came time to fund the Federal Government and to deal with some issues having to do with unemployment. And the Republicans in the Senate held us hostage and demanded that we extend the high-end Bush tax cuts, which created a $700 billion deficit. We went ahead and did that, and rolled the issue forward 3 months so that in February we would have yet another crisis, the funding or the
shutdown of the Federal Government.
Yet again another opportunity for our Republican colleagues to create a crisis so that they could use it to force onto the American public their policies, which became very evident what they wanted to do. They wanted to reconfigure the entire American scene. They wanted to roll back Social Security. They wanted to end Medicare for all Americans who are not yet 55 years of age. They wanted to end the programs to support higher education, to reduce research, to reduce funding for food safety programs.
They used these manufactured crises to shut down a government.
And yet here we are again with the debt limit, first discussed back in May, and then because of the Treasury Department's ability to continue paying bills, we are now up against the final deadline of August 2. Yet again a totally manufactured unnecessary crisis.
Previously, Ronald Reagan said: Don't do this. Do not put the good faith and credit of the American government on the line. He told the Republicans, his Republicans back in the 1980s, honor the debt. This is not about new spending, this is about spending going back a century. This is about the American bills that were paid or not paid years ago, and that's our debt today.
We don't need to do this. There are options. We're putting forth, as we did earlier, a clean debt limit increase. Get us past this. We are also looking at the opportunity for the President to invoke the 14th Amendment, the fourth clause of the 14th Amendment, that says America will honor its debts. I believe he has the power, issuing an Executive order to the Treasury Department: pay our debts. This is something that is fundamental for America, and we must do it.
Put aside this manufactured crisis. It didn't need to be real, but it has become all too real in these last few days as our Republican colleagues are unable to get their act together, even to put forth a proposal that would eviscerate necessary programs. Can't even do that.
The President has called for a balanced approach, one of taxes, raising the taxes that should have been raised back in December and eliminate some $700 billion of this problem, but let's do it now. Let's go after the oil companies that are receiving our tax money at the very same time that over the last decade they have created nearly a trillion dollars of profit. They don't need our tax money. The poor in America, the senior citizens in America, they are the ones that need help.
I yield back the balance of my time.