Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, an organization with which I am proud to work closely on behalf of economic development in the Greater Fall River Area, and for sensible national policies, the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce, recently published in the Fall River Herald News a very thoughtful article which "respectfully urges Congress to place the nation ahead of party politics by raising the federal debt limit without delay.'' The Chamber notes that "failure to increase the statutory debt limit in a timely fashion can have a significant and long lasting negative impact on any potential recovery in the towns and cities of the South Coast.''
Mr. Speaker, the Chamber understandably and correctly notes that they are "extremely concerned about the level of the federal debt and the unchecked annual budget deficits that have become the new normal in Washington, DC''. I also agree with them that "the U.S. government must learn to spend more wisely.'' And I believe that they have the sequencing of these issues in the correct form when they close by urging those of us in Congress to "raise the federal debt ceiling and set in motion a dialogue to curb unchecked federal spending.'' I believe it is essential that we raise the debt ceiling and avoid negative economic consequences, and at the same time commit ourselves to adopting a set of policies that will substantially reduce the deficit over time. For example, Mr. Speaker, I personally renew my call to our colleagues to put an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq which no longer can be justified in terms of national security, and which together costs us well over $100 billion dollars a year, as part of a package of steps that will bring down our annual deficits.
[From the Herald News, July 13, 2011]