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Pelosi Floor Speech on Legislation to Protect the Full Faith and Credit of the United States  

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of S.J.Res. 33, a debt limit increase in order to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and prevent the first-ever default on our sovereign debt.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:


Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you, Madam Speaker.  I thank the gentleman for yielding this time.  More importantly, for bringing this important legislation to the Floor. 


Now, we say that with many bills, and let me tell you, Madam Speaker, what this means to America's families — America’s families, as they gather around the kitchen table and figure out their priorities, how they’re going to pay the bills and what keeps them up at night. 


We must lift the debt ceiling to cover the expenses already incurred.  It's important to note: 95 percent of it incurred during the Trump Administration, under 4 percent of it under the Biden Administration.  But, sadly, Republicans have not only abandoned the responsibility we have in all of this — this is what it means to you. 


For families, a default could mean millions of American jobs eliminated, trillions in household wealth erased, reducing the value of the dollar and an immediate reversal of our strong economic recovery – six million jobs already under Joe Biden – and having a terrible impact globally for decades to come.  Just, just the discussion of not lifting the debt ceiling a number of years ago, when the Republicans in Congress were refusing to do so, lowered the credit rating of the United States of America. 


Our Constitution says, and it makes clear, ‘The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned.’ 


So, I just want to point out this other fact: if you have a car loan, if you have a mortgage, if you have a student loan, if you have credit card bills, any other borrowing, your interest rates will go up unless we lift the debt ceiling.  This has a direct impact on the pockets of the American people, on the prospects for their success. 


Let's be clear: Republicans want less money in the pockets for the American people, for whatever reasons.  I don't know what the middle class and working families ever did to them, for them to want to exact this toll on our economy, on our standing in the world and what it means globally.  But, very importantly, when you’re discussing your finances over the kitchen table, understand that if your interest rates go up, it’s because of the refusal of the Republicans to lift the debt ceiling.


And, again, this is – again, I just close by saying: the full faith and credit of the United States should never be questioned; the health of our economy should never be threatened; the financial security of our families must never be gambled. 


I urge a strong vote for this legislation so that we strengthen our economic recovery, spare families the pain of a catastrophic default and uphold our duty in the Constitution of the United States — to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. 


With that, Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time and urge an ‘aye’ vote on this.  I, again, thank Mr. Beyer for his leadership on this issue and Mr. Neal, the Chair of the Committee, as well. 


Thank you.


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