San­ders State­ment on the Cri­sis of Im­mi­nent De­fault

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS -

– Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment to­day as Congress faced an Aug. 2 dead­line for rais­ing the debt limit:

“Ver­mon­ters are deeply con­cerned about the pos­si­bil­ity of the United States de­fault­ing on its debt for the first time in our nation’s his­tory. My of­fice has re­ceived hun­dreds of calls about this.

“Ver­mon­ters want to con­tinue re­ceiv­ing their So­cial Se­cu­rity checks and pay­ments for Medi­care and Med­i­caid ser­vices. They also want our vet­er­ans to con­tinue to re­ceive the ben­e­fits they have earned, and they want our sol­diers on the bat­tle­field to get paid.

“Be­cause of Repub­li­can Tea Party in­tran­si­gence, the op­tions that are cur­rently be­fore Congress run the gamut from bad to worse.

“A de­fault would be a disas­ter for the Amer­i­can peo­ple and for the fu­ture of our econ­omy. It would mean that peo­ple who re­ceive fed­eral ben­e­fits or pay­ments might not get what they are en­ti­tled to re­ceive.

“Repub­li­can House Speaker John Boehner’s pro­posal would like­wise be ex­tremely harm­ful be­cause of the very sig­nif­i­cant, im­me­di­ate cuts in pro­grams that work­ing fam­i­lies des­per­ately need – es­pe­cially in the midst of this ter­ri­ble re­ces­sion. The Boehner pro­posal, for ob­vi­ous po­lit­i­cal rea­sons, also would con­tinue the debt-ceil­ing cir­cus for at least an­other six months, con­tin­u­ing to par­a­lyze the abil­ity of Congress to ad­dress the se­ri­ous eco­nomic prob­lems we face.

“The pro­posal by Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid is some­what less oner­ous, but also would im­pose sig­nif­i­cant cuts in many im­por­tant pro­grams for work­ing fam­i­lies. Im­por­tantly, be­cause of Repub­li­can de­sire to de­fend the in­ter­ests of the wealthy and pow­er­ful, nei­ther pro­posal asks the wealthy or large cor­po­ra­tions to con­trib­ute one nickel to­ward deficit re­duc­tion.

“That’s where we are and it surely is a sad state of af­fairs.

“Given these dis­mal op­tions, it ap­pears that the least dam­ag­ing ap­proach might just be (as for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton has sug­gested) for Pres­i­dent Obama to rely upon the 14th Amend­ment, which says the debts of the United States ‘shall not be ques­tioned.’ The pres­i­dent is re­spon­si­ble un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion for pro­tect­ing and de­fend­ing the nation and the gen­eral wel­fare of its cit­i­zens. I think that is just what he should do if he is left with no other way to pro­tect the full faith and credit of the United States. What makes this prefer­able is that we would pre­vent de­fault while also pre­vent­ing the dev­as­tat­ing cuts pro­posed un­der the other op­tions.”

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