09/27/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2021 10:50
WASHINGTON - In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today slammed Senate Republicans-led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)-for their continued refusal to join Senate Democrats in voting to deal with the debt limit. During his speech, Durbin noted that raising or suspending the debt limit has nothing to do with approving new spending-it's about paying off the spending the government has already incurred. Much of the debt that Republicans are threatening not to pay was approved by Senate Republicans under former President Donald Trump.
"Let me repeat, raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with future spending, we're paying Donald Trump's bills," Durbin said. "This is about paying what we already owe and it's also about averting an economic catastrophe. As a candidate, Donald Trump used to brag that he was, 'King of Debt'…He proved it. His reckless spending as President with America's credit card added nearly $8 trillion to our national debt…That is a third of the entire debt was incurred during the Trump Administration and now the Republicans, his party, refuse to acknowledge that debt and the fact that we have to pay it back. He racked up all that debt in four years. $2 trillion of that, incidentally, was spent on tax cuts for the richest people in America," Durbin said.
Durbin highlighted how Democrats stood with Republicans during the Trump Administration to raise the debt ceiling in order to avoid an economic disaster.
"Our Republican colleagues voted to raise the federal debt ceiling once and to suspend it twice during Donald Trump's [presidency]. And the Democrats stood with him because we understood that this is just [a] basic requirement, 101 of constitutional government. We shared the responsibility, not because we agreed with his policies, we don't, but because we understood that defaulting on the national debt could cause real damage to America," Durbin said.
Durbin also discussed Congressional Democrats' Continuing Resolution (CR), which keeps the government funded and open through December 3, 2021; avoids a needless and dangerous shutdown; provides emergency funding to help resettle Afghan refugees; responds to the devastation caused by Hurricane Ida and the wildfires out west; and suspends the debt ceiling until December 2022. The CR must be passed before the end of this month to avoid a government shutdown.
Video of Durbin's floor speech is available here.
Audio of Durbin's floor speech is available here.
Footage of Durbin's floor speech is available here for TV Stations.