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Public Statements

The Debt Ceiling

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. BASS of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Republican debt ceiling plan that will be considered later this week.

My Republican colleagues have brought a bill to the floor that would introduce statutory spending caps for the next 10 years with mandatory automatic cuts across the board to all programs if the cap is breached. Disguised as a solution, this cap would quickly become one of the most serious budgetary problems this country has ever faced. While a spending cap might sound responsible, in reality, caps don't balance budgets; caps trigger massive unsustainable cuts. We tried this in California. The Republican spending cap jeopardizes our ability to improve our schools, rebuild the Nation's crumbling infrastructure, and invest in R&D.

A global spending cap is not a silver bullet for our budgetary woes. Far from being a budgetary cure-all, a drastic ceiling on spending would undermine our recovery when the economy gets better. So I urge my colleagues to abandon this hostage-taking on raising the debt ceiling and work with the President to lead us forward with a responsible debt reduction plan.

Besides forcing significant cuts to important programs, a cap would make it nearly impossible to restore services cut over the recession as our economy recovers or step in to respond to current or future economic challenges. This is not the time to be talking about capping spending at unsustainable levels that can never be raised again.

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