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Public Statements

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, the 14th Amendment of the Constitution states, if I may paraphrase, the public debt of the United States shall not be questioned. In other words, we don't even have the power, really, in section 4 of that amendment. Take a look at it and read it, what our objectives are, rather than bring to debate year after year whether we should raise the debt limit. We have to do our jobs.

It would be foolish if people around the world began to wonder, once again, whether or not the Congress will give the President the ability to pay the debts that we racked up. Both sides voted for much of this. The fact is that the United States, as the President said, is not a deadbeat Nation. We will pay our obligations, both to our bondholders and to seniors and veterans and the middle class.

So while I'm glad my colleagues on the other side have edged slightly away from the precipice of default, they are still leaving themselves room to backtrack if they don't get what they want. And just the fact that the conference chairperson has said if we have to shut down the government to make sure that President Obama understands that we're serious, that's almost treason, according to the 14th Amendment.


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