BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. SCALISE. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Michigan for yielding and for bringing this bill forward, Congressman McClintock's Full Faith and Credit Act. I'm proud to be a cosponsor of the bill because what the bill does is clearly take default off the table as an option when we're having negotiations over the debt ceiling.
Now, people would say why is this even an issue. Unfortunately, it's an issue because the only people in town who have been threatening default are President Obama and liberals in Congress. And you've heard some of the speakers against this bill today talking about the threat of default. What's so good about this bill is it takes default off the table. It takes away their ability to default on our Nation's debt.
In fact, President Obama in the last debt ceiling negotiation almost 2 years ago was the one running around the country threatening to default on our credit, so much so that it scared the markets and hurt our economy. And, in fact, it is one of the things that led to a downgrade, the first time in our Nation's history that our credit rating was downgraded because the problem that gets us to the debt ceiling is that Washington has a spending problem. It's spending that continues to force us to hit the debt ceiling.
And so when we're negotiating on the debt ceiling, we shouldn't be worried about the President running around threatening default; we should be focused on fixing the spending problem. Americans sent us here to tackle the tough issues, not to be clouded and confused by the President's threats of default. Unfortunately, the GAO has even said the President can prioritize. He should. It would be responsible to pay your debts, but the President himself has said he would consider defaulting if we hit the debt ceiling.
And so what this bill says is you pay Americans first. As the chairman of Ways and Means pointed out, it is American citizens who own the bulk of our debt. They would be paid. Social Security would be paid. But then we could focus on the spending problem, and the negotiations on debt ceiling would be about solving the spending problem in Washington that continues to force us to hit the debt ceiling so that we can stop living from crisis to crisis and finally get our economy moving again. I urge passage.