Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement regarding his support for H.R. 2775, the Senate Agreement that reopens the federal government and prevents a default on the nation's obligations:
"I support this deal because it reopens the federal government, it assures that we will not default on our obligations, and it retroactively pays the hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed through no fault of their own. The deal that passed tonight should have passed months ago, but Republicans blocked every single attempt to go to conference on the budget with the Senate. Now that a conference committee has been agreed to with this deal, we are finally able to negotiate the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
"It should be clear that we can no longer afford to let a fringe element hold the nation hostage, forcing us to govern from one self-created crisis to the next. It is utterly irresponsible that Tea Party Republicans shutdown our nation's federal government for sixteen days and then threatened a default on our nation's obligations in a failed attempt to defund, repeal, delay, or sabotage the Affordable Care Act. If there is any take away from this unnecessary budget crisis, it should be that there are no rewards for holding our economy hostage. I just hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have learned this valuable lesson, so we don't find ourselves in another shutdown and default crisis when this agreement expires in early 2014.
"There are no winners with this agreement. A recent study by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation estimates that recent self-created budget crises have contributed to the loss of approximately 900,000 jobs. Since the last time Republicans toyed with default in August 2011, uncertainty about Congress' ability to govern responsibly has grown around the world and has harmed our nation's credibility. Standard and Poors downgraded our credit rating in 2011 despite a last minute deal and yesterday Fitch Ratings issued a warning on our credit rating. One of America's largest brokerage firms, Fidelity Investments, recently sold all of its short-term U.S. government bonds to protect its investors. The interest rate paid by banks for day-to-day loans quadrupled since the start of this latest crisis. A four month debt ceiling extension is woefully inadequate and I fear too short to provide the necessary stability for our economy. The only thing worse than this inadequate debt ceiling extension would be no extension at all.
"This has to change. I just hope that in the next few months we can return to regular order, pass a full year appropriation for the federal government, cancel the sequester, and pass a long-term debt ceiling extension to provide our economy with the necessary certainty it needs to grow."