Congressman Henry Cuellar released the following statement after U.S. House Speaker Boehner commented that "he was not confident at all" that we could avoid the fiscal cliff. Yesterday, Moody's Investors Service issued report of a possible lowering of the government's triple-A credit rating if fiscal talks fail.
"While the fiscal cliff is on the horizon, we are not on the edge. Congress has time. Boehner has halted progress before budget negotiations even start. This is prematurely throwing his hands up at a time when we need to work toward a compromise to avoid the United States falling into a deep recession.
"In the most dire warning from the Congressional Budget Office, it reported that the U.S. economy is faced with recession and the unemployment rate would jump to 9 percent should tax cuts expire on January 1, 2013, while simultaneously defense and non-defense budgets are cut by $1.2 trillion. In this case, two negatives won't make a positive and we need to work to avoid a recession, plain and simple.
"The same day Moody's report said that the budget talks are instrumental to the U.S. rating outlook, the House of Representatives Speaker has chosen to wash his hands clean of work before they even get dirty on budget talks. I am disappointed to hear the Speaker's lack of confidence, but believe we can come to the table for Americans and the betterment of the U.S. economic outlook and remain in session until we reach a compromise. We need to have confidence in ourselves; the only way to achieve this is in a bipartisan way."