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Public Statements

Congressional Black Caucus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from New York and the gentleman from Nevada for having this Special Order tonight, and also our tireless and fearless leader, the Honorable Marcia Fudge, chairwoman of the CBC.

``Insane,'' ``catastrophic,'' ``chaotic,'' ``a nuclear bomb''--these are just some of the words our top economists and business leaders have used to describe what will happen to our economy if Congress chooses not to pay our bills on time.

The last time we flirted with not paying our bills on time, the economy flew into a tailspin, the markets plummeted, consumer confidence took a nosedive, our credit rating was downgraded, and our economic recovery came to a screeching halt. That was when we only got close to a default. If we actually defaulted, the short-and long-term consequences would be unimaginable.

So, if this is the case, then how did we even get ourselves here again? The answer is simple. An extreme group of the Republican Party, the Tea Party, is so obsessed with defunding the Affordable Care Act that they are even willing to shut down the government and hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage.

Now, what does that mean, the ``full faith and credit?'' Mr. Speaker, when I hear that, it makes me think about what this Nation has meant to the world, about what this Nation has done for its people--the full faith and credit of the United States. I wouldn't want that on my conscience, that I was part of this body when it defaulted, because that is what you will be remembered for. You were here during the darkest time in this Nation's history.

It is irresponsible that a small group would hold the American economy hostage simply because they don't like one Presidential policy, or the man.

The Affordable Care Act is already the law. Even now that the government is closed because of the Republican shutdown, the law is going into effect as we speak.

So I urge my reasonable colleagues on the other side to listen to the American people, because the people in my district are still hurting from the economic recession. They don't need a manufactured crisis on top of it.


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