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Pelosi Remarks at Hearing on Risks of Default to the U.S. Economy and Jobs

Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks today at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing about the impact of a default on the United States economy, job creation, seniors and the middle class.  Below are the Leader's closing remarks:   

“Thank you very much, Madam Chair and Chairman Miller, for your leadership in calling this hearing - the only hearing on Capitol Hill on the impact of default on our economy and on our future growth.  I thank all of you for this non-partisan presentation, Dr. Slaughter, Mr. Bartlett, Dr. Boushey and Dr. Blinder, for your very compelling testimony.

“From what I've heard from you - and I was at the White House, I came directly here from that meeting and so my hope leaving there and listening to all of you was that wisdom would dawn and that people would say, we have two different things we are doing here.  The budget, as Dr. Blinder said in his testimony, is something that is controversial, is legitimate differences of opinion of priorities in this statement of values, which we hope it will be, that is called the national budget.  There should be no question as to whether we are going to honor the full faith and credit of the United States, and this isn't necessarily about spending for 2012.  This is paying for the debt that was incurred largely in the Bush years.  So this isn't about more spending, this is about honoring, not defaulting on those loans.  We take some responsibility for the debt incurred in the last year or two, but largely this was amassed before.

“So why should there even be a question as to whether we are going to, what was it, seven times, in President George W. Bush's time and the Administrations before, it's always unpleasant, but it has to happen.  And hopefully your testimony today will help remove all doubt that it will happen and these difficult decisions will not have to be made.

“One element--you hear about entitlements, you hear about revenue, you hear about cutting and spending, and we have to look at all of that.  But the issue of growth that you have all addressed as to jobs and what impact it has on jobs is very important.  What I hear from businesses - big and small and moderate sized - is that you give us customers, we'll create jobs.  The impact of what the deficit is as a percentage of GDP, the national debt is of GDP, is not as relevant as the cuts that are made that impair economic growth that will encourage job creation.

“So I think we have to have clarity about what we are doing when we make the cuts wherever they are, as to whether they achieve the goal of deficit reduction, or are we just making cuts so we can lower the corporate rate and we still have do this over here and that over there which may appeal to some people but do not reduce the deficit.  We must reduce the deficit.  We must do so in a way that creates jobs and respects the dignity of work, of the dignity of retirement, and the prospects of education for our children's future.  How you do that is what we are elected to come here and debate. 

“Whether we honor full faith and credit shouldn't be a question. Thank you for helping us to remove all doubt in that regard and for your leadership and for your writings on this subject, which we all admire and follow.  Thank you for being with us today.”