CA Officials' Comments on Debt Ceiling Debate

Local representatives in Washington, D.C., have made their opinions known.

By Samantha Tata
|  Monday, Aug 1, 2011  |  Updated 5:55 PM PDT
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Debt Debate: What to Do With Your Money?

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The U.S. Capitol building is illuminated on July 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama announced that congressional leaders had reached a tentative agreement to extend the federal debt limit while enacting spending cuts.

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Debt Debate: What to Do With Your Money?

The debt debate on Capitol Hill has everyone talking about the possibility of a default and its effect on interest rates. It's a tough situation that has many people scrambling to find out what to do with their money.
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Name-calling, fretting, dire warnings and political posturing. No one in California's Congressional delegation seemed interestred in discussing the debt ceiling today.

But they haven't been so shy in teh past. You'll find it all here, in recent comments made by California's Congressional representatives on the epic battle over raising the nation's debt limit.

Senator Dianne Feinstein
July 30:
“Day-by-day our country moves closer to defaulting on our sovereign debt—something that has never happened in the history of our country. The repercussions of this protracted and public debate on whether our government will honor its financial obligations are already evident."

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, 6th District
July 28 (via Facebook): “Debt Ceiling: I don’t know when or why fiscal responsibility became synonymous with sticking it to poor people. We don’t have to shred the safety net to turn our deficit back into a surplus.”

Rep. George Miller, 7th District
July 28: “[Republicans] think Americans’ top priorities are increased gridlock, greater uncertainty, and higher unemployment. How else to explain Speaker John Boehner’s insistence that Congress approve his cynical plan to extend the nation’s debt ceiling for only six months while making deep cuts to services that millions of Americans rely on and that help our economy, setting the stage for deep cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and protecting tax breaks for oil companies and wealthy Wall Street executives.”

Rep. Barbara Lee, 9th District
July 25: “The current, so-called ‘debt crisis’ has been completely manufactured by House Republicans attempting to advance an extremist agenda. This should be a simple vote to allow the US Treasury to fund all of the programs and obligations of the entire federal government that are already in the law”

Congressman Mike Thompson, 1st District
July 26: “Most Americans agree that we must address our nation’s debt crisis and put our fiscal house in order – and soon. […] The situation before us is serious and we have a responsibility to solve it – but it must be solved in a responsible way. Make no mistake – I’m not afraid to cut spending where it’s deserved. In fact, I’ve voted to cut more than $100 billion in spending this year alone and am prepared to vote for more reductions. But I’m not willing to vote to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, the poor, or the middle-class. We can’t afford a plan that ruins Medicare or Social Security for hardworking Americans.”

Rep. John Garamendi, 10th District
July 26: "I support the ongoing negotiations to use the legislative process to raise the debt limit and responsibly reduce the deficit. However, If Congressional Republicans insist on gutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and student aid as an absolutist precondition to raising the debt limit, then I encourage the President to simply pursue the Constitutional option failsafe already available to him.”

Rep. Anna Eshoo, 14th District
July 29: "(Boehner’s bill) is a phony bill. I'm opposed to it and my constituents are opposed to it. It ensures that in a few months, we'll have to go through this divisive, time-consuming and unproductive exercise once again. House Republicans are playing with fire, creating instability in the markets, and further threatening our national's credit rating. If they succeed, they will have instituted a new tax on every American in the form of higher-interest rates on credit cards, car payments and mortgages. Since Speaker Boehner walked away from negotiations with President Obama, our nation has already lost $405 billion in aggregate wealth.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, 16th District
July 29: "Tonight, I voted against the so-called Boehner plan to raise the debt ceiling. I voted no because this plan is nothing more than an attempt to hold our economy hostage for partisan again and would guarantee this plan does nothing to solve the true problems our country faces and pushes the entire burden of balancing our budget entirely on working families, senior citizens, and young Americans. […] The debt ceiling is about paying for what America has already spent. And, until this current crisis, it was always raised in an unencumbered fashion. President’s Reagan and Clinton routinely raised the limit. This is a manufactured crisis designed to further an extreme ideological agenda. "

Rep. Sam Farr, 17th District
July: “I am disappointed that Republicans have chosen partisan politics over protecting our nation from default, possible credit downgrade, and jeopardizing our economic recovery. The bottom line is that this plan not only unfairly targets our country’s most vulnerable, but it doesn’t address the imminent threats facing the good faith credit worthiness of our nation. Repeatedly, business leaders and credit ratings agencies have warned that this band aid solution will not guarantee our nation’s credit rating from being downgraded. The federal debt ceiling has been raised 70 times by Democrat and Republican Presidents, never reaching today’s destructive and dangerous levels.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano, 38th District
July 30: “The American people want unity, not political games. This bill was created by Republicans with special rules that guaranteed it would not pass. We are now only days away from default, and we need real compromise instead of continuing to waste precious time."

Rep. Linda Sanchez, 39th District
July 29: “Speaker Boehner’s bill is misguided and puts America at risk. The Speaker is asking for extraordinarily deep cuts to programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—cuts that are unacceptable.  (His) plan could cause our country’s credit to be downgraded, sending interest rates skyrocketing, which would be a disastrous turn for our economy. Residents of California’s 39th District don’t deserve to see their credit card rates go through the roof and their mortgages spiral out of control because House Republicans want to hold the economy hostage so they can dismantle programs like Social Security and Medicare."

Rep. Jerry Lewis, 41st District
July 29: “The debt ceiling serves as a warning bell that Congress is not meeting its responsibility to balance the federal budget, and now that warning has reached the level of a four-alarm emergency.”

Rep. Mary Bono Mack, 45th District
July 31: "I am encouraged by what I have heard about the agreement so far but reserve judgment until I have had an opportunity to completely review it.  From all indications, it does appear to be an important first step in finally getting runaway federal spending under control. Even though this agreement, if approved, will allow America to avoid a default on our national debt, we cannot avoid the tough decisions which still face us as a nation.”

Rep. Darrell Issa, 49th District
July 29: "The debt crisis is a result of years of overspending. If we're going to end the crisis we need to both raise the debt limit and stop spending in Washington. We don't have a taxing problem in America but a spending problem."

Rep. Brian P. Bilbray, 50th District
July 27: “The United States will make good on its debt obligations but reaching our debt limit is only a symptom of the real problem. Forty-cents out of every dollar our government spends is borrowed. We are not just borrowing from China to the tune of $1.16 trillion, we are stealing from our grandchildren. In order to restore certainty in our economy to bolster job growth and keep America competitive we need to stop spending money we don’t have. Raising the debt limit without a credible plan to end Washington’s wasteful spending will destroy jobs and make our debt problems even worse.”

Click here for more local coverage on how the issue impacts Southern California.

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