Let me be clear. Defaulting on America's obligations to our creditors, to our seniors, disabled veterans, active military personnel, college students and many others, is not an option.
This Bill prevents a default, and it pays our bills.
Congress must act quickly to deter a ratings downgrade, a downgrade that will affect families and small businesses all across the country. Only a sound, credible plan that places us on that sustainable trajectory will prevent that threatened downgrade, driven in part by an unprecedented spending binge by this administration, which has blown up the fiscal balance sheet.
A previous speaker said a few moments ago that we're playing games. I can assure you, this is no game. This is serious stuff. And speaking of serious, the White House has still refused to offer a serious, specific plan, in writing, that we can review. In fact, in a stinging rebuke of the administration, the nonpartisan Director of the CBO - Doug Elmendorf - said, "We don't estimate speeches."
The Senate's dug in its heels, too. It would be nice if they passed a Bill. Any Bill. It's been 800 days since there's been a budget. It's time for them to act, and to move to prevent this type of fiscal calamity that many have predicted.
I ask my colleagues to support this legislation. It's a step forward. It may not be the final product, but it moves this process forward. I encourage the Senate to take it up. But most importantly, we have a sacred duty and a solemn obligation to lead and act. We do have that affirmative obligation to govern for the benefit of our country and the American people.
The world is watching. Americans are watching. It's time for us to lead and demonstrate American exceptionalism.
Why are Republicans insisting on cuts in spending? As the graph above demonstrates, spending under Obama has been out of control.