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DelBene Blasts GOP Debt Prioritization Bill: ‘Signals our willingness to bring the United States to the brink of default’

WATCH: DelBene calls out Republicans for wanting to pay the Chinese government and other foreign bondholders over American veterans, service members

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) blasted House Ways & Means Committee Republicans for advancing legislation (H.R. 187) that would favor paying foreign bondholders, such as the Chinese government, over veterans’ benefits should the U.S. default.

This measure is an attempt to deceive the American people into thinking Republicans are taking action on the debt ceiling but does nothing to avert the devastating economic impact that failing to pay our bills would have across the U.S. and global economies. The Treasury Department has said that Congress must raise the debt ceiling by early June.

Estimates show that failing to pay our bills would plunge the U.S. into a recession, shed 3 million jobs, balloon borrowing costs for families, increase the price of everyday goods, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars.

Watch DelBene’s remarks here. Her remarks as delivered are below:

Our country faces a serious impending crisis with the threat of the first-ever default on the full faith and credit of the United States.

We should be working together on a solution to prevent the global economic damage that a default would cause.

Instead, the Majority is trying to deceive the American people by claiming they are taking action on the debt ceiling when in reality they are wasting time entertaining false solutions.

My Republican colleagues say their bill would remove the risk of a default, and that is simply not true. Debt-prioritization is just default by another name. 

When you only pay some bills and not others, you are still defaulting on the bills you don’t pay. It’s that simple. 

And with this legislation in particular, Republicans are saying that payments to bondholders should take priority over payments to our veterans and military service members.

Put another way, foreign governments, corporations, and hedge funds should get paid first, and those who risked for our country have to wait.

Economists are the first to say that prioritizing some bills and defaulting on others will still cause an economic collapse because it is sending the signal that investing in U.S. debt is risky.

Global markets aren’t going to care that we paid some of our bills.

A failure to pay any of our bills is still a default, and we have never done it before.

Republicans are playing political games with our economy that will have real and harmful effects on all of our constituents.

Entertaining “debt-prioritization” as a so-called solution signals our willingness to bring the United States to the brink of default.

If my Republican colleagues need an example of the economic consequences of flirting with a default, look to 2011 when America’s credit was downgraded resulting in a nationwide hiring freeze and nearly $19 billion in increased borrowing costs for American taxpayers.

Republicans claim they want to lower costs for Americans and protect the middle class when in reality their actions accelerating us towards a default.

If Republicans are serious about addressing the debt limit, there is one real solution – raise the debt ceiling.