United States Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today released the following statement after the House voted to raise the national debt limit:
“As we prepare to convene the 109th Congress, one of our top priorities should be getting our fiscal house in order. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership is sending us in the wrong direction. The House voted recently to raise the debt limit by a total of $800 billion. The vote to raise the debt limit for a third time in three years is a direct consequence of the reckless fiscal policy pursued by the Republican leadership over the last few years.
“A key step to putting America back on the path to financial security would be re-implementing “pay-as-you-go” policies. The House Republican leadership blocked efforts to restore these rules. Using pay-as-you-go rules, the Clinton Administration helped convert a $290 billion budget deficit in 1992 into budget surpluses in 1998, 1999, and 2000. As a result, the Clinton Administration was successful in paying down $362 billion in publicly held debt. However, in 2002, the Republican leadership let the pay-as-you-go rules expire, causing us once again to face endless budget deficits and a soaring national debt.
“Debt increases have serious consequences for American families. At a time when the House leadership is promoting more and more tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Americans, increased budget deficits create an enormous debt that will mortgage our future. While a few are benefiting disproportionately from certain Bush tax cuts, all Americans will pay the consequences through the rising “debt tax.”
“Throughout our history, every generation of Americans has worked to leave our children a world that is stronger and more secure than the one that was left to us. That is our legacy and it must also be our commitment. It is simply wrong to run up a debt on our national credit card and leave our children to pay the bill. We must take personal responsibility to return our nation to fiscal responsibility.” -