Washington, DC – As the deadline approaches for a default on our nation’s debt, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Budget and Finance Committees, called on Republicans and Democrats to work together to develop an immediate compromise that will increase the debt ceiling to pay for our nation’s current bills and develop a balanced, comprehensive plan to bring our deficits under control. Senator Cardin made the following remarks after the Senate defeated a temporary measure that would have continued financial uncertainty and further harmed our economy.
“It’s time we stop playing games with the full-faith and credit of the United States of America and pay our bills. The American people do not want our country to default on our obligations but they know that a credit rating downgrade for the first time in our nation’s history could wreak havoc with our fragile economy. A small, extreme group of Republicans in the House don’t seem to understand this fact.
“The temporary fix sent over from the Republican House was not a solution. The inherent uncertainty created by such a short-term scenario would leave every American in jeopardy. A credit-rating downgrade would put seniors living on retirement income, students dependent on education loans, families with adjustable-rate mortgages, and small businesses with essential credit lines, all at risk. Repeating this partisan gridlock in a few months would help no one and would not move us closer to a balanced, comprehensive solution to our budget crisis.
“Every family has to make tough choices when balancing their personal budgets. As a nation, we need to do the same. This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats; this is about an urgent threat to every American. I urge my colleagues to put our national interests first and take the politics out of paying our past bills. A real solution is not going to just be what the Democrats want or just what the Republicans want. We’ve all got to come to a true compromise."