Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) voted against the so-called "No Budget, No Pay Act" which temporarily suspended the debt ceiling for three more months, but tied holding the vote today to having the Senate pass a budget, which would then allocate funds for Congressional pay. Rep. Engel has repeatedly called for a clean extension of the debt ceiling, and has advocated for the invocation of the 14th Amendment to bypass the continued votes to raise the ceiling, and thus eliminate the possibility of default.
"Once again, the House Republicans are using the good credit of the United States to play political games. They just can't seem to help themselves -- instead of simply enabling our country to pay its existing bills, they have to tie it to something to make their most radical members happy. They may feel good about connecting our credit rating to the Senate's budget and Congressional pay, but all it does is prove they have politics as a priority rather than governing. These types of fabricated crises have to stop, and all this vote does is delay it another three months. New York State has a law on the books holding legislators' pay until a budget gets passed. That law has not stopped New York from constantly having late budgets since 1999. This is all window dressing so Tea Party Republicans can tell their supporters they are tough on the debt.
"Of course, if they really were tough on the debt, they would negotiate in good faith with Democrats to strike a balanced approach to reducing our debt, and protecting our social safety net. I didn't hear a peep out of them when the previous Administration financed two wars and a prescription drug plan on a credit card. In fact, they instead told us that "deficits don't matter.' Governing requires compromise and making hard decisions. When they are ready to govern, we will readily welcome them to the table."
Rep. Engel is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.