WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling – a leading conservative and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee – released the following statement on the Senate’s continuing resolution and unconditional debt ceiling increase, which the House considered earlier tonight:
“Over the last several weeks, I have joined with my colleagues in passing plan after plan to open the vital services of the government. I have co-sponsored legislation to assure a partial government shutdown never occurs again. We have urged the president and Washington Democrats to come to the negotiating table to discuss ways we can work together to address our nation’s unsustainable spending-driven debt crisis and to ensure all Americans are treated fairly and equally under the president’s health care law. Sadly, they refused both.
“First, I wish to make clear that default on our sovereign debt is unacceptable, unthinkable, and unfathomable. Unfortunately, the president has tried to conflate default on our sovereign debt with failure to unconditionally raise the debt ceiling. They are not one in the same. Independent analysis from organizations like Moody’s Investor Services and the General Accountability Office attest to this. The president has the legal, financial, and logistical means to avoid a catastrophic default on our sovereign debt. Furthermore, House Republicans passed H.R. 807, the Full Faith and Credit Act, to explicitly authorize payment prioritization and thereby remove the frightening specter of default. Tragically, Senate Democrats have refused to consider it and President Obama has even gone so far as to issue a veto threat. Even so, I – along with other House Republicans – will continue to work for its passage.
“Second, every day I hear from constituents across my district whose hours have been cut or whose health care premiums have gone up because of Obamacare. Regrettably, tens of millions are being forced into health care they do not want, at prices they cannot afford, on a website that does not work. I will not quit working to replace the government takeover of our health care system with patient centered health care.
“Finally, after having served four terms on the House Budget Committee, the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and the so-called Super Committee, my laptop’s memory is full for reports and testimony attesting to the fact that our nation is on an unsustainable spending path. And the refrain from too many in Washington and on Wall Street continues to be ‘we will deal with that later.’
“Not only as a Congressman, but as the father of an 11-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, I cannot, in good conscience, support an unconditional increase in the national debt ceiling without any plan or commitment to begin dealing with the debt today. Later no longer suffices.”