Mr. Speaker, if Congress does not act – and act now – America will default. That would wreak havoc on our economy and make it harder for Americans to find and keep a job in an already weak economy. Default cannot be an option, and I am pleased that the bill before us ensures that will not occur.
Just as a default would threaten the economic health of this country, so would increasing taxes. Raising taxes on families and job creators would hinder investment, increase the cost of doing business and result in even less hiring. That is the wrong direction when we are struggling with an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent and 14 million Americans looking for work.
The good news is that the legislation before us recognizes these basic facts. It avoids a default, it makes sure the government pays our bills and it does not increase taxes.
And though some have argued that the new Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction could pave the way for tax increases that is not going to happen. The Committee’s structure, the baseline it will work off of and the fact that Republicans are in the majority in the House virtually guarantee taxes will not go up.
Furthermore, this legislation finally forces Washington to make serious changes to the way it spends taxpayer dollars. There are real budget reforms, there is a path to a balanced budget amendment and there are automatic spending cuts if Congress does not rein in spending on its own.
I applaud the efforts of all of those who helped craft this agreement, especially Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor.
I urge my colleagues to recognize this opportunity to fix what is broken in Washington and use this occasion to significantly cut runaway spending.
Mr. Speaker, I urge a yes vote.