Hippocratic Oath for Congressby Representative Michael M. Honda
Posted on 2014-01-08
HONDA asked and was given permission to address the House for 1
minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. HONDA. Mr. Speaker, if there were a Hippocratic oath of
legislating, it would prescribe that we, above all else, should do no
harm, but we have a habit of violating that foundational precept.
We have allowed unemployment insurance to 1.3 million Americans to expire, and that will not help our economy and will cost 200,000 jobs.
In 1 month we face the recurring hostage-taking ritual that has become raising the debt limit. These debt limit showdowns have a real cost to our economy.
The Government Accountability Office found that delayed action in 2011 resulted in $1.3 billion in higher borrowing costs. We can avoid that cost by enacting permanent reforms to the process like the ones employed in the recent debt limit adjustments.
I introduced last year H.R. 233, which would permanently shift the role of Congress to disapproving debt ceiling increases instead of approving them and allows the debt limit to be raised [[Page H34]] unless a supermajority of Congress votes to block the increase.
I encourage my colleagues to join me in pursuing these permanent and necessary reforms. Avoid the replay of the hostage-taking and brinksmanship of last year, and take the steps to avoid doing any more unnecessary harm to American families.