The government shutdown must end, we must pay our bills, and this constant governance by crisis must stop.
My office has been fielding hundreds of calls, emails and letters from constituents, and I wanted to respond to the issues so many of you have raised as part of my "Ask Adam" video series. Brent in West Hollywood wrote me: "It is wrong to hold our country and our economy hostage to an extreme agenda. The House Majority is willing to sacrifice our fragile economic recovery, America's credit worthiness and essential government services if they don't get their way."
I agree -- these political games are destructive and have got to stop. We should pass a "clean" funding bill and debt ceiling increase with no extraneous riders attacking the Affordable Care Act.
Earlier this month, the House Majority failed to fulfill one of Congress' most basic obligations -- to keep the lights on and the doors open -- resulting in the first government shutdown since 1996. And now those same members of Congress are talking about defaulting on the United States' debt by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, because they don't think it's necessary and don't see the harm. Some have even gone as far as to say that it would bring stability to the world markets. They're playing Russian roulette with the economy and it's gone on long enough.
The debt ceiling is the statutory limit of borrowing that must be raised if federal government is to have the capacity to pay its past bills; it is not new spending or funding for new programs. Economists agree that not raising the debt ceiling and defaulting on our obligations to bond holders, not to mention social security recipients, our military, and many other priorities, could freeze credit markets, cause the dollar to plummet, and dramatically increase our borrowing costs. Unquestionably, the debt ceiling must be raised.
You can always share your thoughts through Facebook or Twitter. Through these quick-read updates, I hope to keep you informed of my work at home and in Washington, D.C. on issues of interest to our communities, as well as provide an opportunity for you to keep me informed of your views and interests. As always, I welcome hearing from you on these and any other issues, and hope that you will stay in touch.
Congressman Adam Schiff