Cicilline Statement on Raising the Debt Limit

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a clean debt-ceiling increase by a vote of 221 to 201 to avoid a default and suspend the debt limit through March 15, 2015.

“I am pleased the House today passed legislation to avoid a default of our nation’s credit and protect the full faith and credit of the United States.  America must pay its bills and for too long Republicans have been playing games with the debt ceiling and putting America at risk,” said Cicilline, who noted that because Republicans did not act to approve normal borrowing authority when the statutory debt limit expired on February 7, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department has been using “extraordinary measures” to continue paying the nation’s bills.

“Waiting until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling is reckless and defaulting on U.S. obligations for the first time in our nation’s history would have caused tremendous damage to America’s credit rating, raised the interest rates which we pay as a nation, and increased the cost of business for families across our country.  And, Rhode Islanders would have felt the damaging effects of default in delays in Social Security payments, veteran’s disability payments and pensions, increased mortgage rates, and more.”

“We saw the results of this failed approach in 2011 when Republicans manufactured a budget crisis and triggered the nation’s first ever credit downgrade – resulting in real damage to our economy.

“Providing certainty that America will pay its bills on time and in full will enhance our economic recovery.  I urge my colleagues in the Senate to immediately take up and pass this legislation.”

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