Friday, July 29, 2011
Cleaver: Democracy demands compromise
In his weekly EC from DC report, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO, expresses the need for a compromise on the debt ceiling situation.
Yesterday, I held a conference call with business executives from the Fifth District of Missouri. In a wide-ranging discussion, we talked about what a default would mean for them—their businesses, their consumers, and the economy. They were unanimous. If Congress fails to raise the borrowing limit and the government defaults on its debt, it will hurt the global economy, cut government programs, reverse our recovery, slash your retirement, damage America’s credit, and punish businesses and consumers.
Democracy demands compromise. We need a bipartisan, balanced agreement, with both spending cuts and revenue increases to reduce the deficit and rebuild our economy. The real question is, where do we make changes? I believe the burden should not be borne by those least able to bear it, as vulnerable communities, seniors, and children depend on vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The budget of the United States is a moral document; it should reflect our commitment to protect the poor and the middle-class, defend our commitments to seniors, and make wise investments to create good jobs and strengthen our economy.
Until we can come to this agreement, I have decided to support H.R. 2663, the America Pays Its Bills Act of 2011, which simply allows America to avoid default and continue to pay its bills. These are bills we have already incurred—even the Ryan Plan, which many of my colleagues supported, would have necessitated an increase in the debt ceiling. I have heard many of my colleagues compare our current budget and debt ceiling situation to a family as it faces its finances. It is more akin to family dining out at a restaurant, receiving the bill, and skipping out on the check.
As negotiations continue, I thank you for your hundreds of calls, e-mails, letters, faxes, and messages. I will continue to do everything in my power to reach a compromise that will strengthen the economy, create jobs, preserve the solvency of our nation, and protect those who depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.