Levin Floor Statement on Debt Limit

Feb 11, 2014 Issues: Economy

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) delivered the following statement today during debate on legislation to raise the debt limit: 

“We've been adamant about a clear, clean debt ceiling vote. And now it's happening. It should have happened in August 2011. And because of the Republican position, a high price was paid. Jobs were lost, 120,000. The stock market plunged nearly 20%. Economic growth was slowed, significantly. So this time around we're going to do the right thing. 

“The gentleman from Michigan, my colleague, the chairman of the committee, talked about working together and I want to close by suggesting now with this vote in terms of the debt ceiling, we've cleared the deck. Let us now take up the other issues of major importance to the people of this country. And one of them is unemployment insurance. As we stand here today, isolated maybe by the walls around this chamber, but I hope not, 1.7 million people have lost every dime of their unemployment insurance. Long-term unemployed. All right, we're clearing the decks. Now let's pay attention to the business of the American people, in addition to full faith and credit. We should not be leaving here with 1.7 million Americans out in the cold because too many people in this institution haven't been willing to listen to their stories. Listen and act.”