This afternoon, the House wasted valuable time on the latest version of S.627, the Republican Default Act, which was revised again this afternoon after it failed to garner enough support yesterday. Four days before we default, instead of moving towards a compromise, the House Republican leadership moved a bill that has no chance of passing the Senate even more to the right-–adding a key element of H.R. 2560 (the so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act”). The revised legislation requires that the second increase in the debt ceiling that would be needed in six months could not occur until both the House and Senate pass and send to the states a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment. Since there is not two-thirds support in the House and Senate for this amendment, the bill guarantees default.
Leader Pelosi spoke in strong opposition:
House Democrats offered a Motion to Recommit asking House Republicans a simple question to answer with their vote: will you continue to sacrifice jobs and our fiscal health just to protect the interests of Big Oil and the wealthiest Americans? Rep Kathy Hochul (D-NY) explains:
As the oil and gas industry is raking in near-record profits, it seems only fair these companies give up their taxpayer-funded subsidies to help reduce our deficit. The Democratic motion would have directed the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction created by the underlying legislation to eliminate subsidies for the five largest oil and gas companies, and corporate jet owners, before gutting education initiatives that create jobs, spur growth, and invest in our future, but Republicans defeated the amendment by a vote of 183-244.
Republicans are driving our nation toward an unprecedented default while Americans await compromise so they don’t have to pay the price if our nation defaults:
Over $1,000: Increase in mortgage payments for the average family
$250: Increase in credit card interest for the average family
$318: Additional amount families could pay per year on food
$100: Additional amount families could pay per year on gas
$182: Additional amount families could pay per year on utilities
House Republicans must put aside their political, partisan ideology and return to the table to negotiate a balanced, bipartisan agreement so we can focus on Americans’ top priority: jobs and economic growth. Democrats support a balanced, bipartisan solution to reduce our deficit, create jobs, grow our economy, expand our middle class, and protect Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid beneficiaries.
UPDATE: The Senate has tabled S.627 by a vote of 59-41, showing what was readily apparent this entire week–it has no chance of passage.