2:51 PM EST
Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. Let me first thank Chairman Neal for the great job that he has done over the years in terms of presenting legislation that is so sorely needed in this House. And let me speculate in terms of how far is it going to go that we are going to have this partisanship in the House of Representatives.

You know, we have a saying that once we're overseas, we leave the Democratic label and the Republican label behind us. But believe me, the flag and the credibility of the United States' credit is on the line. And whether it's the Chinese, the Japanese, or the European Union, it seems to me that the pride that we once had in terms of being the leader of the world, not only in fiscal policy, but in foreign policy, is on the line.

No one out there in our communities is going to look at this as a Republican issue or a Democratic issue. They're going to look at it as an American issue. And they're going to look at the Congress. Why? Because we have the full faith and credit of the United States of America in our hand. People have political problems with raising the debt limit, but our country has fiscal problems. And Treasury has assured us, as he has the minority, that they don't have these fiscal gimmicks in order to play

around with it.

I know a lot of people know it's going to pass, and so, therefore, they're not going to vote for it. But somebody--maybe our kids and grandkids--is going to ask, Did the United States of America ever forfeit and didn't pay its debts? And some historian teacher will say, yes, they did. And they will want to know what Congress did it, and who did it; they're not going to ask whether you're a Democrat or Republican.

So we've got plenty of time to fight--we have at least a year. But, please, when the credibility of the United States of America is on the line, don't ask which side you're on; be with your country.