Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke at a press conference with House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Joint Economic Committee Chairman-Designate Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Joint Economic Committee Senior House Democrat Don Beyer (D-VA), Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) to unveil a Joint Economic Committee report discussing the cost of the Republican default crisis. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
Following one of the most historic congresses in history, where Democrats invested in American families, lowered their drug, home, and utility costs, supported our seniors, ensuring that they can retire with the dignity that they deserve, all the while making the most meaningful changes in climate action in a generation. We did all that. We passed the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and so much more, legislation that is already delivering real results for the American people. We see it every week in the different things that have been announced in all the states and districts throughout the country. Just yesterday, 59 new transportation projects were announced by DOT. And so, our work of last year is really finding fruition with the American people.
But unfortunately, as Democrats strive to build on that momentum, our House Republican colleagues are gambling with American families’ pocketbooks as a part of a political ploy. Plain and simple.
Just yesterday, the House Republican Budget Committee doubled down on its threat to play political games with a first-ever default. That’s what the Chairman did.
One thing is clear: the extreme MAGA wing of the Republican Party has hijacked the party and it is now putting the U.S. at risk of a catastrophic default.
I want to be clear because many folks don’t know just how catastrophic a default would be – it’s foreign to many families because this type of political ploy is not just rare, but it’s extremely dangerous.
So, our amazing JEC, under the leadership of Senator Heinrich and Representative Beyer, have laid out just how devastating the risky game could be.
This report shows that a Republican default crisis means real dollars coming out of American families’ wallets and savings decimated.
An American, working their whole life and finally approaching retirement, could lose $20,000 in retirement savings.
Mortgages, car loans, credit cards will all go up. Homeowners would pay $55,000 more for a home. Families, $875 to buy a car. Small businesses, loans could go up by $2,500.
And more – 18 million veterans could lose benefits. Disability, healthcare, and pension benefits stripped away by the Republicans.
And 65 million seniors will stop getting Social Security checks, plain and simple. That’s default. This is no picnic, this is no political ploy. This is almost life and death for our economy, and the difference between living a decent life, and having a really rough time, for most every American.
House Republicans approach to the debt ceiling very dangerously, what they do is destabilizing and could very well lead to nothing short of disaster. That’s a harsh word but it’s a reality if we default.
For years, we have raised the debt ceiling under presidents of both parties. When President Trump was here, I was Minority Leader, we could’ve stopped it, we could’ve played these games unless they did something we liked, but of course we didn’t. It was too serious, the consequences of brinkmanship too dangerous for the American people.
Republicans claim to be on the side of working families. They say they want to lower costs. But last Congress, look who lowered costs: Democrats. We delivered.
Now, Republicans are gambling with Americans’ savings, benefits, and lives. It’s time for the Republicans to stop playing games, to show us a plan, and ease American’s fears.