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Homepage / DEBT LIMIT

Reaction to the Debt Deal

July 31, 2011

After the announcement of a debt deal on Sunday night, politicians reacted.

The president said: 

"Now, this process has been messy; it’s taken far too long.  I've been concerned about the impact that it has had on business confidence and consumer confidence and the economy as a whole over the last month.  Nevertheless, ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise.  And I want to thank them for that."

 

Read more of his remarks here.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.:

For the last few weeks Congress has been locked in partisan gridlock. Today, I am relieved to say that leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerous standoff. The compromise we have agreed to is remarkable not only because of what it does, but because of what it prevents: a first-ever default on the full faith and credit of the United States.

Sometimes it seems our two sides disagree on almost everything. But in the end, reasonable people were able to agree on this: the United States could not take the chance of defaulting on our debt, risking a United States financial collapse and a world-wide depression. America and the world have been watching our Democracy expectantly. And my message tonight is that this nation and this Congress are moving forward together. Reaching a long-term accord that would give our economy the certainty it needs was not easy.

But our work is not done. Leaders from both parties and in both chambers will present this agreement to our caucuses tomorrow. Senate Democrats will meet at 11 a.m. To pass this settlement, we’ll need the support of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate. There is no way either party – in either chamber – can do this alone. As President Lyndon Johnson said, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

Democrats and Republicans have rarely needed to come together more than today.

I know this agreement won’t make every Republican happy. It certainly won’t make every Democrat happy, either. Both parties gave more ground than they wanted to. And neither side got as much as it had hoped. But that is the essence of compromise. And the American people demanded compromise this week.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

"We all agree that our nation cannot default on our obligations and that we  must honor our nation's commitments to our seniors, and our men and women in  the military.

"I look forward to reviewing the legislation with my Caucus to see what level of support we can provide." 

For the last few weeks Congress has been locked in partisan gridlock. Today, I am relieved to say that leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerous standoff. The compromise we have agreed to is remarkable not only because of what it does, but because of what it prevents: a first-ever default on the full faith and credit of the United States.
Sometimes it seems our two sides disagree on almost everything. But in the end, reasonable people were able to agree on this: the United States could not take the chance of defaulting on our debt, risking a United States financial collapse and a world-wide depression. America and the world have been watching our Democracy expectantly. And my message tonight is that this nation and this Congress are moving forward together. Reaching a long-term accord that would give our economy the certainty it needs was not easy.
But our work is not done. Leaders from both parties and in both chambers will present this agreement to our caucuses tomorrow. Senate Democrats will meet at 11 a.m. To pass this settlement, we’ll need the support of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate. There is no way either party – in either chamber – can do this alone. As President Lyndon Johnson said, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”
Democrats and Republicans have rarely needed to come together more than today.
I know this agreement won’t make every Republican happy. It certainly won’t make every Democrat happy, either. Both parties gave more ground than they wanted to. And neither side got as much as it had hoped. But that is the essence of compromise. And the American people demanded compromise this week.

Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann:

"Mr. President, I'm not sure what voice you're listening to, but I can assure you that the voice of the American people wasn't the 'voice that compelled Washington to act.' It was you that got us into this mess, and it was you who wanted a $2.4 trillion dollar blank check to get you through the election. Everywhere I travel across the country, Americans want less spending, lower taxes to create jobs, and they don't want us to raise the debt ceiling.

"The President continues to press for a 'balanced approach,' which everyone knows is code for increased spending and taxes. Throughout this process the President has failed to lead and failed to provide a plan. The 'deal' he announced spends too much and doesn't cut enough. This isn't the deal the American people 'preferred' either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will."

Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman:

"While this framework is not my preferred outcome, it is a positive step toward cutting our nation's crippling debt.

"Because the legislation promises cuts commensurate with the debt ceiling increase, forces a vote on a much-needed federal balanced budget amendment and provides the only avenue to avoid default, I encourage members of Congress to vote for this legislation.

"While some of my opponents ducked the debate entirely, others would have allowed the nation to slide into default and President Obama refused to offer any plan, I have been proud to stand with congressional Republicans working for these needed and historic cuts. A debt crisis like this is a time for leadership, not a time for waiting to see which way the political winds blow.

"Going forward, I will aggressively advocate for a plan from the congressional committee that includes real cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue-neutral tax reforms -- without any tax hikes.

"The Republican members of Congress deserve tremendous credit for moving this debate to the forefront and at long last beginning to get Washington in line."

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement:

"Today's announcement of a compromise is welcome news. I want to thank President Obama for his tireless leadership on this issue and for his unfailing commitment to do what is right for the country. President Obama and Democratic leaders understood that not raising the debt limit would be absolutely irresponsible, and have been committed from day one to a compromise to lift the cloud of uncertainty facing our country and our economy.

"The President and Democrats' primary focus has been to ensure that we meet our obligations and avoid default while beginning to get our fiscal house in order. This deal accomplishes that. It puts in place a framework for long-term fiscal discipline and it makes a down payment on deficit reduction. The agreement sets the stage for a balanced package that includes revenues.

"But we're not over the hurdle yet. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this compromise and renew their commitment to working to together in a bipartisan fashion to move our country forward."

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney:

“As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table. President Obama’s leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.”

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.:

I support the bipartisan debt ceiling compromise for one reason--the alternative is pain and chaos.  This compromise keeps the full faith and credit of the United States intact, which is vital.  

The good news is that benefits for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are off of the table now.  I would have preferred that Big Oil and millionaires and billionaires contribute to reducing the country’s debt but it was clear that congressional Republicans would not agree to that.  I want the joint committee that will look for additional savings to look for responsible ways to raise revenue too.
 
It has been a messy and crazy process and certainly not the way we do business in South Dakota--but now, at least, we can move away from the brinkmanship of the past weeks.

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