Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the terrible impacts of House Republicans’ “Default on America Act.” Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
For months, the president has been clear that he will not allow the full faith and credit of the United States to be taken hostage. He has rejected brinkmanship, hostage-taking, and asked what is the only way to solve this problem given where we’re at right now, which is clean, to avoid default.
To avoid default, Democrats have asked Speaker McCarthy and Republicans to present a credible plan. But last week, Republicans instead released an extremist hard-right agenda, written in a backroom, in secret, to win support from the Freedom Caucus.
The GOP’s Default on America Act, as we call it, does not bring us any closer to avoiding a first-ever default. In fact, it only brings us dangerously closer to defaulting.
The Default On America Act would mean fewer jobs, higher costs for the American people, and would leave policemen, first responders, border patrol, and our brave veterans all hanging out to dry.
For those who worry about gun violence and crime and keeping our communities safe, the Default on America Act will wipe out nearly 30,000 law enforcement while also gutting critical resources to secure the border. Donald Trump told House Republicans to defund law enforcement and so the Default on America Act on cue does just that.
That’s what the Default on America Act does. And not just that, it would eliminate over 142,000 new jobs, including 18,000 manufacturing jobs, that have been created since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed.
If you’re a parent struggling to pay for child care, the Default on America Act will eliminate more than 105,000 child care slots across the country—making it harder for parents to find work, finish their education, or even provide for their families.
If you know someone who struggled with addiction, this bill would also worsen the opioid epidemic by cutting critical HHS programs by over $10 billion in the next decade. That’s the definition of cruelty.
If you want to go to college, the Republican package will slash Pell Grants for all students by $1,000 and even eliminate Pell Grants entirely for tens of thousands of Americans.
Put plainly, the House Republicans are hell bent on default one way or another—either a default on the debt, or a default on everything else: on our future, our children, our promise to care for our kids and veterans and law enforcement and first responders.
No matter what happens, Republicans are promising real pain for American families.
And what happened just a few hours ago, in the wee hours of the morning?
Plainly, Speaker McCarthy capitulated even further to the hard right. Again, if anything, this revised bill is even more extreme, a more radical version of the Default on America Act. It brings us no closer to avoiding a default on the national debt.
Let me be clear: Democrats cannot and will not allow the Republican’s DOA Act to ever become law. It is DOA, plain and simple.
And if Republicans refuse to level with the public about the terrible things their Default on America Act will do to them, Democrats will do the work ourselves. We’ll let America know how bad this is because Republicans are intent on hiding it. They know how unpopular it would be.
In the meantime, Speaker McCarthy needs to recognize that all the energy he is putting into the passing the Default on America Act will be wasted effort.
The Speaker should drop the brinkmanship, drop the hostage taking, come to the table with Democrats, pass a clean bill to avoid default. Given the way the Republican proposal is, that’s the only way to go. Time is running out.