Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on House Republicans' failure to act to raise the debt limit. The debt limit had been suspended until today, February 7, 2014, and the Treasury Department will now have to begin using extraordinary measures to ensure America pays its bills:
“Because of this Republican-led House’s continued inability to govern responsibly, today the United States has once more hit its self-imposed debt ceiling. Unless Congress takes action in the coming days to pay the bills it has already accrued we will risk a catastrophic default. Even if we avoid that outcome, the very notion of default risks another downgrade of our creditworthiness. In August 2011, even the threat of default was enough for Standard & Poor’s to issue the first-ever downgrade in our history. It is shameful that House Republican leaders have not yet put a bill on the Floor to forestall this preventable economic disaster.
“Democrats are ready to vote immediately to pay our nation’s bills – a matter that should never be up for debate or negotiation. I strongly urge the Speaker and Majority Leader to do the right thing and work with Democrats to avert another crisis of Congress’s own making, and this Congress should not leave for the President’s Day district work period until this matter is resolved.”