The country wants to know: Will Congress increase the debt limit by August 2, or will the United States default on its debt and lose its AAA bond rating?
Democratic Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (8th) has been talking with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). “It’s not going well,” Moran said at a Democratic event on Saturday night in Alexandria. “Boehner is having a meeting right now in the Capitol and basically they’re deciding whether to allow an international implosion of our financial system, which could send us into the second Great Depression.
“They (Republicans) don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know how important the stability of American currency is to the stability of the world’s financial systems. They don’t understand that the debt ceiling is not an artificial construct. It has nothing to do with revenue or spending. All it says is ‘We will pay whatever we owe.’ That’s all it does. And by delaying this, it raises questions as to whether we will pay what we owe and that’s not good. That causes distrust, confusion and it weakens the authority and the credibility of the United States government.
“Obama’s furious that Boehner won’t talk, because (Boehner) has no power. It’s [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor (R-Va.-7th) who has the power. He really thought he was talking with someone who could say ‘Yes,’ but Boehner doesn’t have the authority, because Cantor controls the Tea Partiers - the hardcore far-right. To them, it’s about principle, and I’ve talked to them. For most of them, their economic policy is Ayn Rand, it’s not on (economist John Maynard) Keynes or any economist,” Moran said.
Moran cited cuts to the Women, Infants and Children program, which provides low-cost meals for underprivileged pregnant women and children under five years of age.
“It’s one of the most important programs that a caring community and society and nation can do,” he said. “So, the Republicans would cut $650 million from that program to deny nutritious meals to 300,000 women and children for the entire year, and in the same bill, the tax cuts just for the millionaires and billionaires, people whose incomes are $1 million a year, and there are 300,000 of them, they get $650 million of additional tax breaks for one week. So, to pay for an entire year for 300,000 low-income pregnant mothers and infant children, they cut that out so they can give tax breaks to the same number of millionaires.”
Moran also charged that the intentions of Republicans are the same as Grover Norquist, the influential president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Grover Norquist spilled the beans about what he’s really fighting about, why he’s gotten virtually every Republican to sign his pledge (for no new taxes), because he said: ‘We are going to create a structure with this debt ceiling fight so that when the Democrats have control, they will never be able to govern as Democrats.’ Those are his words.”
Norquist reportedly made the statement in 2003 at his high school reunion. When asked how Republicans could retain a permanent majority in the House, he replied: “We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.”
Moran: “In other words, we won’t have the resources to ensure that the middle class expands, to ensure that pregnant women and infant children have sufficient nutrition, to ensure that we have good quality schools to compete in the 21st century, to ensure that people aren’t left by the side of the road...They’re fighting to make sure we don’t have the resources to accomplish that objective.”