U.S. Rep. Ron Kind made the following statement after supporting the No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013 (H.R. 325). The Act, which passed 285-144, extends the limit on federal borrowing for four months, until May 18, in order for the U.S. to fully meet current obligations and avoid default. It also prohibits congressional pay for Members of Congress, unless a budget passes.
"Instead of coming together on a long-term solution, my Republican colleagues are again putting a Band-Aid on the problem," said Rep. Kind. "These repeated short-term fixes are not the answer. We cannot continue to have this argument every few months, create waves of uncertainty for both families and businesses, and expect our economy to grow."
When Republicans took the debt limit hostage in August 2011 and passed an increase at the very last minute, America's economy paid the price. For the first time in history, the credit rating of the U.S. was downgraded; consumer confidence dropped by 25 percent and the economy saw the lowest level of private sector job growth in nearly three years.
If the U.S. were to default, it would have a catastrophic effect on the credit market both in the U.S. and across the world. Without access to credit, both consumption and investment would fall sharply, doubling the unemployment rate and devastating businesses.
"Though it's not perfect, this bill keeps us from defaulting on our obligations and is the right thing to avoid economic disaster," said Kind. "We have an obligation to pay the bills we've incurred and then work on getting future debt under control."
"Wisconsinites know hard work and they know if they don't do their jobs, they don't get paid. Members of Congress should have to abide by the same rules. It's time to do our job, make the tough decisions to get our fiscal house in order, and lay out a bipartisan, long-term solution to our budget deficits."
*Congressman Kind's weekly video address on this topic
*Congressman Kind's speech on the floor of the House of Representatives