Republicans are Threatening Our Economy and National Security
Congressional Republicans are recklessly endangering our nation’s economy and our national security. By refusing to cast their votes to allow the U.S. to pay its creditors and meet its other financial obligations (for example, making Social Security and Medicare payments), they are threatening to undermine the “full faith and credit” of our country.
The specific legislation required to avoid defaulting on our financial obligations would involve raising the debt limit, which is the amount of money the federal government can borrow to pay its existing bills. The Treasury department recently issued the following statement about the debt limit and the threat of default: “The debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance [pay for] existing legal obligations that congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past. Failing to increase the debt limit would have catastrophic economic consequences.”
Just the threat of default can be damaging. In 2011, congressional Republicans brought the U.S. to the brink of default by refusing to raise the debt limit unless their demands were met. The uncertainty associated with their actions caused the S and P credit rating agency to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time in our history. This action undercut domestic and global trust in the nation’s economy.
A recent article by two former Defense Secretaries, one a Democrat (Leon Panetta) and one a Republican (Chuck Hagel), clearly states the grave risks that any threat of U.S. default on our financial obligations poses to our national security. These highly experienced experts on national security tell us that: “The full faith and credit of the United States not only underpins our global financial order, but it also constitutes our word in the most literal sense. The consequence of debt-ceiling brinksmanship is a dangerous self-inflicted wound that tells both our friends and our enemies that we cannot be trusted. Such brinksmanship weakens our national security.”
For the four years of the previous administration, when a Republican was the president, congressional Republicans readily agreed to vote to allow the government to pay its bills. Now, with a Democratic president, they are hypocritically refusing to do so.
Please contact your Republican congressional representatives and demand that they stop threatening our economy and our national security and vote to allow our country to pay its bills!