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Statement on Passage of H R 325 by the House of Representatives


Location: Washington, DC

"Today I voted against H.R. 325 "to ensure the complete and timely
payment of the obligations of the United States Government until May
19, 2013, and for other purposes." This bill "suspends" the limit on
the United States debt ceiling until May 19, 2013. What it means in
practice is the the United States will continue to pay for the bills
we have already incurred as we promised and as the American people and
the world economy expects -- but only until May 19, 2013. How it does
that is a little fuzzy and we may yet have to confront the
uncertainties of this highly unusual action. But, not paying our
debts, would be a disaster for our economy and for the world economy.
We should pay our debts just as we promised. Paying our bills has
nothing to do with this year's budget or any concerns about future
deficits. We should debate those and we should vote on them. It has
nothing to do with Social Security, Medicare or aid for storm victims.
We should pay our bills regardless of current interest payments
although it is worth noting that according to Congressional Budget
Office figures if we subtracted the $90 billion in interest that is
refunded from the Federal Reserve to the Treasury the interest burden
of our debt is near or at a post-war low."

"I voted against H.R. 325 because it is only a "temporary" lifting of
the debt ceiling. We should pay our debts due today and we should pay
those due on May 20, 2013 and every day after that. Continuing the
seeming never ending "crisis" of will we or won't we pay our bills is
harmful to our economy. It is a barrier to our economic recovery and
to creating jobs. It is paralyzing our political system. Refusing to
pay our bills is not a valid or productive negotiating tactic, on the
contrary it is a barrier to addressing the critical issues facing the
Congress. The 112th Congress repeatedly avoided it's responsibility to
pay the bills it voted to incur causing our nation to lurch from
crisis to endless crisis. The 113th Congress should not start down
that road. It is time to end that uncertainty, vote for a reasonable
(I support at least four years) extension of the debt ceiling and get
back to work on the big issues facing us. Any Member of Congress who
doesn't believe America should pay its bills should have a chance to
say so by voting against such a reasonable extension."

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