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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Debt Ceiling

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke today called on her colleagues in Congress to increase the debt limit to avoid the risk of default on Social Security benefits, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and paychecks for members of our armed forces.

In October, Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement to suspend the debt ceiling until February 7, 2013. Failure to increase the debt ceiling would prevent the Secretary of the Treasury from borrowing funds to pay debts already incurred by the federal government.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has indicated that he and other Republicans in the House of Representatives could refuse to increase the debt ceiling unless President Obama complies with demands that have not yet been disclosed.

“No serious dispute exists that the failure to increase the debt ceiling would undermine the foundations of the global economy, with serious consequences for people around the world,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Increasing the debt ceiling does not increase the national debt. It only allows the federal government to issue the payments – many of which have already been earned by people who, for example, receive Social Security, members of the armed forces, and civilians who work for the government. Our future as a nation depends on confidence in Congress and President Obama to continue the functions of the federal government. These threats to withhold approval of an increase in the debt ceiling will result, ultimately, in self-inflicted wounds.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.