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  • No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

    by Representative Sander M. Levin

    Posted on 2013-01-23

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    LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I shall consume.

    This Republican bill is not a change in policy. It's a change in tactics. House Republicans continue to play with economic fire. They're playing political games with the debt ceiling, and that undermines certainty.

    Yesterday, economist Simon Johnson of MIT testified before our committee saying that a short-term increase would only extend uncertainty. He said: You will continue to undermine the private sector. You will continue to delay investment and to reduce employment relative to what it would be otherwise.

    Let's, for a second, remember history, the last time the House Republicans played political games with the debt ceiling. In August 2011, our economy produced the lowest job growth in 3 years. During that 2-month period, the Dow Jones plummeted 2,000 points, including one of its worst single-day drops in history--635 points on August 8. S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time in history.

    Leading Republicans in June, 2011, criticized the notion of a short- term debt ceiling increase as providing a lack of certainty. The majority leader said: We feel very strongly that one of the reasons why we continue to see an ailing economy is that people have very little confidence, have very little certainty in terms of where we are headed.

    Our Ways and Means chairman echoed that feeling only days later saying about the prospect of a short-term debt ceiling increase, It does not give you certainty.

    This bill does not give certainty, but uncertainty.

    The action we took New Year's Day to avoid the fiscal cliff brought our total deficit reduction over the past 2 years to $2.5 trillion. What's more, it set the stage for future further balanced agreements that include both spending cuts and new revenue. We should proceed with that effort, not plunge into further uncertainty.

    I reserve the balance of my time.

    {time} 1120 Mr. CAMP. I yield myself 15 seconds just to say that Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating on August 5, after the Budget Control Act was passed. In doing so: The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics.

    With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to a distinguished member of the Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the House Budget Committee, the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Ryan).

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