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McCollum Introduces Bill to Raise Debt Ceiling and Save the U.S. Economy from Tea Party Republican Inflicted Catastrophe

July 15, 2011
Press Release

Contact: Maria Reppas, (202) 225-6631 / (202) 527-0149 maria.reppas@mail.house.gov

With 14 million Americans out of work McCollum also calls on Congress to cancel August recess and get busy on job creation legislation

Washington, DC – As the Tea Party Republican inspired debt limit crisis intensifies, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) has introduced legislation to save the U.S. economy from what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has called "catastrophic damage" if the U.S. defaults on its obligations on August 2nd. McCollum's legislation allows for an immediate increase in the debt ceiling to $16.7 trillion to allow all current financial obligations of the U.S. to be paid.

The Don't Default on America's Debts and Destroy American Jobs Act of 2011 (H.R. 2544) also calls for cancelling the traditional August Congressional recess so that Congress can pass legislation to increase job creation, reduce unemployment, and address the longterm deficit crisis. This legislation does not authorize any new federal spending.

"This debt limit crisis is a political game manufactured by the Tea Party Republicans who seem willing to allow the U.S. to default on our debts and destroy the economy. This is an insane brand of Armageddon economics that must be stopped," McCollum said. "It is time for Democrats and reasonable Republicans to stand together and prevent an economic catastrophe. The House and Senate could pass this bill in half an hour if we had rational, responsible partners on the other side of the aisle."

Treasury Secretary Geithner has indicated that August 2, 2011 is the deadline for the federal government to either raise the debt limit or face default on existing obligations. Economic experts from across the political spectrum agree that failing to raise the debt limit would throw the U.S. economy back into a recession. If the U.S. defaults on its debt it is likely interest rates will skyrocket and raise prices for everything – something millions of Americans cannot endure a second time. Credit rating organizations are already threatening a down-grading of the U.S. credit rating if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling.  McCollum's legislation also calls on Congress to forgo its regular month-long August recess so Members can pass legislation to reduce unemployment, create jobs, and advance longterm deficit reduction options.

"With 14 million Americans out of work, Congress should be in session working to strengthen the economy, create jobs, and move forward with a long-term deficit reduction strategy.  Congress needs to be working this August, not out on vacation," McCollum said.

The Republican-led House has been in charge for seven months and still hasn't proposed a single bill to create jobs or even rolled out a clear job creation plan.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.
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