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Rep. DeFazio Votes to Keep Government Open

Sep 21, 2021
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today voted to pass a bill that extends funding for vital federal agencies and programs, including education, health, housing, and public safety programs, through December 3. The legislation also suspends the debt limit through December 2022 to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and prevent an economic crisis.

“The legislation passed today will ensure the continuation of early childhood education, investments in schools and high-quality job training programs, ensure families can put food on the table, and uphold our responsibility to our veterans,” said Rep. DeFazio. “It also includes a provision extending the debt limit through December 2022. I’m disappointed that congressional Republicans have chosen to play politics with the U.S. economy instead of working on a bipartisan basis, as we have for the last 10 years, to responsibly fulfill the United States’ financial obligations. We must continue to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and bolster our economic recovery.”

Suspending the debt limit simply allows the U.S. to pay what we already owe, including the crucial COVID relief legislation passed last December, as well as vital payments for Social Security and for our veterans. Failing to suspend the debt limit would cause the U.S. to default on its obligations and trigger an economic crisis. Congressional Republicans have refused to work with President Biden to raise the debt limit and pay for spending that they themselves approved during the Trump administration.

During the four years of Trump’s presidency, total debt subject to the limit rose by $7.8 trillion. During those four years, Republicans voted three times to suspend the debt limit. Now, with President Biden, many Republicans are hypocritically saying they will not support suspending or raising the debt limit.

Failure to suspend or raise the debt limit would be disastrous and would cause the first default in U.S. history. It would also:

  • Jeopardize all U.S. government payments, including Social Security payments, veterans’ benefits, military pay, and more.
  • Hurt all American families by causing interest rates to go up.
  • Cause a nationwide recession, damaging the livelihoods and savings of millions of working families across the country.
  • Trigger a worldwide financial crisis. Financial markets consider U.S. debt as one of the safest assets, with other assets around the world benchmarked against us. A default on U.S. debt would send waves of financial panic cascading through financial markets around the world.