Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today voted yes on the House Republican bill to raise the national debt limit – a bill Republicans said they were bringing up specifically in order to defeat it. Grijalva called the vote, which failed 97-318, “an opportunity to see who’s serious about helping the economy and who’s here to waste time on theatrics.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio), who said as recently as May 16 that Congress would “have to increase the debt ceiling,” voted against the bill.
Grijalva pointed out that House Republicans voted down the Congressional Progressive Caucus People’s Budget proposal April 15, which would have led to a government surplus by 2021. “Republicans have had plenty of chances to do the right thing, and instead they’ve pushed harder every day to cut Medicare to pay for corporate tax giveaways,” Grijalva said. “If they believe this kind of posturing is the way to govern, this Congress is in serious trouble.”
Raising the debt ceiling – which economists and observers across the political spectrum, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say is necessary to avoid a global economic crisis caused by U.S. default on its debts – is “the only honest way to function as a government beyond the summer,” Grijalva said. “It’s not an academic, he-said she-said matter of opinion. I voted yes today because it’s the right policy vote. Republicans today voted for austerity for working families and threatened a global recession just so they can keep their millionaire tax giveaways. That’s the bottom line. I wish Republicans respected the intelligence of the American people enough to level with them about what’s really going on here. Today they showed that they don’t.”