Released by the Office of U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), a leading conservative and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, made the following remarks on the House floor today in support of the Full Faith and Credit Act (H.R. 807):
“I thank the distinguished Chairman of the Rules Committee for yielding, Mr. Speaker. I also want to thank the gentleman from California, Mr. McClintock, who has been perhaps the most cogent defender of the constitution on the floor of the United States House of Representatives and who has provided his leadership today to ensure that we do not have default on sovereign debt but we put this nation on a path to fiscal sanity, and I thank him for his leadership.
“Mr. Speaker, the folks in the Fifth Congressional District of Texas that I’m proud to represent, have a lot of insecurity about their personal economy, and they have great fear that their children will not enjoy a brighter future.
“I heard my friend, the gentleman from Colorado, say that everyone gets paid. Well, Mr. Speaker, maybe that's part of the problem. Maybe that is one of the reasons why under President Obama’s leadership there has been more debt created in the last four years than in our nation's first 200. We are awash in debt and Mr. Speaker, we know that we have a debt not because we have insufficient taxes, but because we spend too much. Math is a pesky thing.
“In the last 10 years, the Department of Agriculture’s spending is up 114 percent, H.U.D. up 61 percent, H.H.S. 79 percent. Our total government spending has increased 70 percent, and the family budget – measured by family median income – the family budget, which has to pay for the federal budget is down six percent.
“Now, some have said: ‘Well revenues are a problem.’ Revenues are up 52 percent, but you can't raise taxes enough to chase the spending that the Democrats and the president want to foist upon the American people. They have put us on a path to national bankruptcy. At some point we've got to quit spending money we don't have.
“Again, we are on the precipice of a debt crisis, and we have it because of spending too much.
“Now some on the other side of the aisle, their answer to the debt ceiling is to get rid of it. Some have introduced legislation just to get rid of the debt ceiling. You know, that's kind of, Mr. Speaker, like a fire breaks out in your home and your response is to unplug the smoke detector because of that nuisance noise in the background that maybe your house is on fire. And I would remind my friends on the other side of the aisle, Greece didn't have a debt ceiling vote, and yet we have Democrats who say no, let's just get rid of it. But for those who believe that we're not going to get rid of it, we have other friends from across the aisle who essentially want to use it as a hostage; a hostage for something that is not a debt.
“A debt is when you go out and you borrow money and you must pay it back. Every family understands this. It’s one thing for an American family to borrow money to pay their mortgage versus borrowing money so that they can pay for a Las Vegas vacation that they would like to take. They are not equivalent.
“Mr. Speaker, paying sovereign debt is not the same thing as borrowing money so that this institution and this town can continue to spend money for pottery classes in Morocco, to pay for the travel expenses of the Alabama Watermelon Queen, to pay for robotic squirrels, and all the rest of the lunacy that this federal government spends and takes away, takes bread off the table of hardworking American families.
“Now Mr. Speaker, we believe that the president has this power. But he says: ‘Oh, no, no, I don't have this power.’ And so I find it ironic that we are willing to codify what we already believe to be the law of the land and the president says: ‘No, I want to veto that.’ Again, he wants to use this as a hostage.
“This is a very simple bill, introduced by the gentleman from California, to require our treasury to make good on all of our debt payments, that's it. We must stop borrowing money to squander our children's future. This bill will help us do this.
“But the Democrats, they don't want to take this specter of default off the table. It's the only way they can continue spending. Now, they say they do and if they do, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to seeing their name up on the big board, soon.
“This is the right thing and the smart thing to do, and I urge the House adopt this rule and adopt this bill.”