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Public Statements

Democratic Announcements

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. TOOMEY. Madam President, the underlying bill we are going to vote on in a little while suspends the debt ceiling for a period of time, as we all know. My amendment does not change that fact, but it addresses one of the consequences of that fact.

The fact is this bill suspends the debt ceiling, but it does not resolve the underlying problem. So we are going to be back here in a few months with the same impasse we have had in the past: What do we do about the mounting debt? What do we do about having reached the debt ceiling? Will we do anything about curbing the spending that is driving this problem?

My point is we are going to be back at this situation where we will have reached the debt limit once again, we will be at this impasse as to how to resolve this situation, and none of us can possibly know today how quickly that will be resolved. We cannot know how the other body will vote, how this body will vote, the President--we cannot know.

It seems to me, given the inherent uncertainty, we ought to at least have a contingency plan that minimizes any disruption in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised immediately upon reaching the expiration of this period. That is what this amendment is all about.

My amendment is about minimizing the risk of disruption in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised at the moment the time expires. What it does is it instructs the Treasury Secretary to prioritize three categories of payments.

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Mr. TOOMEY. This amendment would prioritize interest on our debt, Social Security payments, Active-Duty military, and authorize the Treasury to raise the debt ceiling as necessary to cover those three categories.

I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.

I thank the Chair.

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