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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty’s Update on Government Shutdown

Oct 3, 2013
News Articles

Beatty Urges Immediate Action to Avoid Country’s First Default

(Washington, D.C.) – Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) today released the following statement urging immediate action by House Republicans to increase the debt ceiling and avoid default.

Building on her efforts to reopen the federal government, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty today called for protecting American families from the cost of a dangerous Republican default by taking long-term action on increasing the debt limit.  A debt limit increase simply allows the U.S. Treasury to pay the bills for spending Congress has already approved and does not increase the national debt.

Despite warnings from economists and financial leaders throughout the world about the catastrophe a U.S. default will cause, Republican Members of Congress recklessly continue to voice skepticism about the detrimental effect a default actually will have on the American economy. Recent reports indicate that there will be damaging consequences of default, including increased mortgage and student loans rates, decrease in retirement savings, and delayed Social Security, veterans’ disability and pensions, and Medicare payments.

“Defaulting would threaten the future of America by putting an enormous financial strain on American families, from higher interest rates for mortgages and credit cards to lost retirement savings to delayed Social Security payments, particularly here in Ohio.”

“Economists of all political stripes are warning about the potential consequences of default. With just days left, it is time for House Republicans to stop opposing reasonable solutions to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States.” stated Congresswoman Beatty.


Beatty on the Implications of a Failure to Raise the Debt Limit

On Monday, October 14, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty took to the House floor during the Congressional Black Caucus Special Order Hour to discuss the implications of a failure to raise our nation's debt limit.  The Congresswoman's remarks, as delivered, are below. 

You can also watch the speech here.

"It is an honor for me to stand here on this floor with you as a colleague in our freshman class. But first let me thank you for your leadership, and also to Congresswoman Marsha Fudge from my great State of Ohio, as president of the Congressional Black Caucus.

As I stand here tonight, I am reminded of the words of Martin Luther King when he said: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in a time of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today during this time of challenge and controversy to express my strong concern over Republicans' failure to immediately raise our country's debt limit. The failure to act is threatening an imminent default on our Nation's financial obligation.

Raising the debt limit does not grow our deficit. Instead, it allows the Treasury to pay for what this Congress has already spent.

What are the facts? Since 1917, the debt limit has been raised 103 times. In recent history, it has been raised 45 times. As you have heard my colleague state, 18 times during Ronald Reagan's Presidency.

In 273 years since our country's founding we have never defaulted on our financial obligation. Yes, never. But if Republicans refuse to increase the debt limit by October 17, the Secretary of the Treasury has indicated very clearly that we won't be able to pay our outstanding debts on time. Quite frankly, this is unthinkable.

The ``full faith and credit'' clause of the United States Constitution directs that the United States will pay all its debts in full and on time every time.

America's full faith and credit has been the basis for our global economic superiority for at least 100 years. Like ordinary Americans, if the Federal Government does not pay its bills on time, then when it comes time to borrow in the future, the interest rates we pay will be much higher. If the debt limit is not raised, Americans will feel the impact immediately, both directly and indirectly.

Who loses? Payments owed to our soldiers and veterans for their services will be delayed. Nearly 4 million disabled veterans receive monthly payments in recognition of their sacrifice. If we default, they will not receive their benefits on November 1. In my home, the great State of Ohio, 1,183 veterans receive disability compensation. It would be unthinkable for us to fail to pay them, and the benefits that they have earned for their services.

Who loses? If the debt ceiling is not raised more than $36 million, Social Security recipients will not receive their earned benefits. In Ohio, over 2 million residents rely on Social Security to make ends meet. A default in our obligations would force them to choose between paying their rent or buying groceries. It is not a choice that Congress should force on our constituents to make.

Americans will also see a sharp spike in interest rates offered on home mortgages, credit cards, car payments, and student loans. The spike will have an immediate, devastating negative impact on our Nation's housing recovery, which has been a driving force in recent economic growth.

If Americans default, the average homeowner will pay an extra $100 a month in increased interest rates. This will cost families $36,000 over the life of a typically 30-year home loan.

As the stock market reacts to the most significant defaults in modern history, you can expect steep drops in your IRAs and your 401Ks.

Just last week, the Secretary of the Treasury reported that if our Nation were to default on our debts, the consequences would be ``catastrophic''--yes, catastrophic--``with many private sector analysts believing that it would lead to events of the magnitude of late 2008 or worse.''

We are still recovering from the worst recession in 80 years. We simply cannot afford to go backward, to go to double-digit unemployment, declining housing values, the financial markets declining, and a climate of economic uncertainty for businesses.

Americans deserve swift action. I implore House Republican leadership to bring to the floor a bill which will raise the debt limit so the Treasury can continue to pay all of its bills on time.

And lastly, I turn to the other imminent crisis: reopening the Federal Government.

Throughout this hour, you have heard my colleagues talk about the choices that you force Americans to make when you try to piecemeal our funding. It is worth me repeating to say: it is like having a family and having parents having seven children, and decide that you are only going to feed three of them and watch the other four children starve before your eyes.

We stand on this floor as Democrats and Republicans every day and we talk about how we care for this America, how we want to provide services, but yet we are making Americans make a choice between NIH funding for children who are cancer patients, who need to be in clinical trial, and we make a decision to pull the funding, Federal funding, in 11 States that they are losing their Head Start grants. The list goes on and on.

This is not the America I know, this is not the America I love. Americans deserve better.

Let's reopen the doors of government, and let's raise our debt ceiling."


Beatty joins House Democrats Calling for Immediate Consideration of the Clean Senate-Passed Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal Government

Congresswoman Beatty on House floor implores Republican leaders for fairness by ending unnecessary shutdown

(Washington, D.C.) – Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) released the following statement on joining with House Democrats calling on House Republican Leadership for an up or down vote on the Senate-passed clean Continuing Resolution.

Today, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) joined with the Democratic Caucus on the east steps of the Capitol to call on the House Republican Leadership to bring up for immediate consideration the Senate’s clean continuing resolution to fully fund the federal government and end the unnecessary shutdown.

At the event, Democrats called on Speaker Boehner to allow the House to vote on the Senate’s clean continuing resolution, as the government shutdown would be over within minutes if a clean continuing resolution is enacted.  Democrats also asked for Republicans to stop piecemeal funding, using certain groups, mainly Veterans, as pawns in the government shutdown debate.

“Funding the federal government cannot be done piecemeal and laden with poison pill amendments as is being done by House Republicans.  By enacting the Senate’s clean continuing resolution, 800,000 furloughed Americans can get back to work immediately—and other Americans will stop experiencing delays in critical services.  It’s time for Congress to work toward a long-term budget solution--that is the fairness the American people deserve,” stated Rep. Beatty.

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty also joined Democratic Members of the House signing a letter in support of an immediate vote in the House on the Senate’s clean continuing resolution to fund and re-open the federal government. Below is the text of the letter:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

Enough is enough.

Today marks the second day that the federal government has been shutdown. Please consider how deeply unfair this is to the citizens we represent.

The solution to this crisis is a simple piece of legislation that funds the government at levels that have already passed both chambers of Congress.

However, to attach defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act to legislation needed to keep the government functioning is to put our economy at risk in order to advance a political agenda.

We demand a vote on a clean continuing resolution immediately so that government functioning can resume and Americans can move on with their lives.

The games have to stop.


Prior to the House Democrats press conference, Congresswoman Beatty went to the House Floor to advocate for a solution to the government shutdown.

“We are sent to Washington to represent our constituents, and to open the doors of government, not shut them. Mr. Speaker, we cannot let you have a few of your Members hold government hostage because they dislike this President or dislike the Affordable Care Act.”

“We cannot piecemeal this funding cycle. Fairness is not letting children starve.  Because of this shutdown, eleven states do not have grant funding for Head Start and NIH does not have funds for clinical trials for cancer patients. Fairness is not to starve small businesses.”

“This approach is like asking a large family to pick three children to feed while watching the others starve before their eyes. We are starving America. We are starving the government.  Fairness is not shutting down the government.  Bring up the clean CR,” stated Rep. Beatty.

Click here to view Rep. Beatty's speech in its entirety.


Beatty Opposes Piecemeal Funding Bills

Last night, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty voted against three piecemeal funding bills that would only end the government shutdown for a few, select government agencies.  These funding bills would provide short-term funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service, and the District of Columbia, and leave the rest of the government indefinitely shut down.

Congresswoman Beatty recognizes that the American people do not want Congress to pick and choose which federal programs are funded. And that Veterans do not want to receive funding while cancer clinical trials remain closed.  All three measures failed to pass the House of Representatives.

**Today the House agreed to fund the District of Columbia and the National Park Service for FY2014 on a second vote on these measures. It also agreed to fund the NIH for FY2014.

“Attempting to fix the government shutdown by taking a piecemeal approach is like trying to choose which child to feed.  This approach will not end the government shutdown, but prolong it.  We cannot keep the government running on an agency-by-agency basis.

“I am the first to support our military men and women and our veterans.  I want all citizens to have access to their national parks, and I also support keeping the District of Columbia fully operating.  However, these piecemeal efforts deny our country of a fully functioning government.  I am proud to stand with the American people, including Veterans like my colleagues Representatives Tammy Duckworth and Tulsi Gabbard, as well as stand with the majority of the American people who oppose this unnecessary, politically-manufactured shutdown.”

“It’s time to pass the Senate’s clean continuing resolution and allow the government to reopen and fully function as it is intended,” stated Rep. Beatty.


Beatty Opposes Continuing Resolution Due to Poison Pill Amendments

House Republicans continue to choose partisan politics over nation’s economy

(Washington, D.C.) – Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) released the following statement on voting in opposition to the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, H.J.Res. 59.  Late this evening, the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 228-199.

Today, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-3) voted against the Continuing Appropriations Resolution (CR), H.J. Res. 59, because like previously House passed versions of this resolution, it contained partisan poison pills which 60% of Americans do not believe belongs in a federal spending bill.

“My colleagues on the other side of the aisle continue to put partisan politics above the needs of American families and our nation’s economy.  The government shutting down will result in hundreds of thousands of federal employees being furloughed, federal loan guarantees for small business owners and middle-income families purchasing homes will be put on hold, and the reduction of services to those in need, including veterans and seniors.  A shutdown will cost American taxpayers $150 million per day and bring our nation’s economy to a halting stop.”

“In my District, if the government shuts down at midnight, hundreds of federal employees will be furloughed, greatly lessening agencies’ ability to help residents of the Third Congressional District and our nation.  It is time for Republicans to stop this partisan bickering and come to the table willing to compromise and work with Democrats on our country’s most pressing needs.”