Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn today commented on the House vote to prevent a default on the national debt.
"When the Republican Majority took the entire American economy hostage to their extreme right wing agenda, I entered the Biden group negotiations with two bottom lines: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, as well as Pell Grant recipients, had to be protected, and the possibility of defaulting on our obligations had to be prevented at least through the end of 2012. This deal meets my bottom lines, and I support it.
"This bill is far from perfect, but it has significant positive elements. In addition to protecting our social safety net for the most vulnerable, this bill is a rejection of the reckless Ryan budget to end Medicare. Under this plan, discretionary spending will be significantly higher than under the Ryan plan. Of the cuts it does make below fiscal year 2011 levels, half of them come from defense spending, an area of the budget that can afford to be pared.
"Governing, especially during a period of divided government, requires compromise. I do not like everything about this bill, and I want us to turn our focus to creating jobs and growing the economy through smart investments in infrastructure, innovation and education. But I recognize that the situation we find ourselves in necessitates that we make difficult choices and concessions to prevent default and reduce the deficit; the President and Congressional leaders have joined together to accomplish this. Voting for this bill with its many concessions was a difficult choice, but I thought it was the right one."