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Default Bill: ‘We Never Should Have Been in This Position…’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House voted tonight on legislation to avoid a default. Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“The legislation is a significant improvement over the radical House Republican Default on America Act, but it still has vast flaws. It stipulates inflation-adjusted cuts in crucial programs from nutrition assistance to health care to environmental enforcement to Head Start and much more, at a time when we should be increasing spending to address income inequality and America’s other pressing problems. It cuts spending to help the vulnerable and fails to raise taxes on corporations and the super-rich. The increase in the amount of money for the already out-of-control Pentagon budget and the inclusion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline are particularly egregious.

“We should never have been in this position. And we are here only because MAGA Republicans used the threat of default to hold the American people hostage. They forced a lose-lose situation where the choice was between harmful policy that hurts millions of people or failing to pay our nation’s bills with equally catastrophic impacts on jobs, retirement accounts, and more.

“Once the deal passes the Senate, we enter the next phase – a race to pass appropriations bills to ensure that we don’t lose more funding for domestic projects and programs and avert an auto-triggering continuing resolution. One major threat is poison pill policy riders being included in those bills. Poison pill policy riders on everything from environment to democracy to consumer issues to healthcare could deepen the hits that the American people are already taking, and they must be excluded from the drafted bills.

“As we look past this moment we must learn from it and find a pathway to abolishing the debt limit. We cannot afford this endless cycle of manufactured crisis and hostage taking. The faith and credit of the American economy and the well-being of our nation’s families cannot continuously be on the chopping block as the stick endlessly forcing untenable deal-making.”