Statement of Senator Edward J. MarkeySenate Floor Consideration of the Continuing Resolution
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Mr. President, we are just hours away from a government shutdown.
"I think Tea Party Republicans saw Breaking Bad's dramatic depiction of reckless behavior last night and thought they could put on a better finale. They could create more drama. They could cook up even more toxic ideas. They could break this government in every bad way possible.
"These Tea Party antics are the stuff of fairy tales. The way the GOP is writing this story, at the stroke of midnight, as we turn the calendar to October, our government, and potentially our economic recovery, turns into a pumpkin.
"But it's the Tea Party GOP who are in Fantasyland, thinking we will actually allow them to cut off Obamacare, shut down the government, and melt down our economy.
"Democrats are not going to let them do this.
"What do the American people want? Americans want our military to get paid on time. Americans want our seniors to get the benefits they've earned and depend on. Americans want to be able to respond to floods in Colorado or wildfires in the West. The American people don't want the government to shut down. Americans want a business plan that completes this recovery, creates jobs and gets our economy back on track. They want us to work together to accomplish this goal.
"What are the effects of Tea Party Republican tactics?
"By forcing Congress to govern by going from crisis to crisis, Tea Party Republicans hope to chip away at the bedrock programs that run our country and help our people.
"First, the Tea Party did this with sequestration. Now, they're going after the Obamacare law.
"What's next are their enduring targets. Social Security. Medicare. The safety net programs that millions of Americans depend on.
"These are the same Republicans who want to privatize Social Security. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program. Now they want to reverse the progress achieved by the legendary Ted Kennedy, who made it clear that in the United States of America health care is a right, not a privilege.
"The Tea Party Republicans are playing highwire politics with our economy so they can take away the social safety net for millions of American families.
"This bill is a preview of coming attractions: Two weeks from now, we'll be careening to the next crisis, this time over whether America will pay its debts. If we do not raise the debt ceiling, we won't be able to pay our bills starting October 17th.
"What's the harm of defaulting on our debts? Our nation's stock and bond markets could go into a free fall. That will damage the full faith and credit of our country, the bedrock of the entire American economy.
"What does that mean, full faith and credit? If you took out a mortgage, had a car loan, bought some furniture, and when the bill came due you said "I'm just not going to pay these bills", what do you think would happen?
"Your credit score would plummet. It would throw your financial life into chaos for years. No one would lend you money or at a minimum, you would be hit with skyhigh interest payments because of the risk you wouldn't pay the next time either.
"Americans ran up these bills. We promised these payments. We should pay what we promised. And then we need to stop lurching from one crisis to another, scrambling to stitch together lastminute deals that last only until the next crisis.
"It's time to end the games. It's time to end the uncertainty. It's time to do what we were sent here to do: Get to work creating jobs and prosperity for all Americans."