Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
There is no common ground here, nor was it sought. We find ourselves at an unprecedented place today. America stands on the brink of default. It stands there, my friends, because the leadership of this House has failed to act in a timely and responsible way. This is an unprecedented status for America, an intolerable place, and Americans are understandably outraged at this politically caused impasse that confronts us, the consequences of which for every American and our country have been correctly characterized as ``catastrophic.'' For more than two centuries, an American default has been unthinkable. The men and women who came before us in this Chamber built up the full faith and credit of the United States until it became the bedrock of the world's economy. Despite their differences, they agreed that the honor that comes from paying our bills responsibly and on time was a moral obligation.
Now our Nation is on the verge of breaking that trust. If America fails to pay its bills and default comes, the wound to the global economy, to jobs across this country, to our standing among nations, that wound will be entirely self-inflicted. It cannot and must not come to that.
Americans have overwhelmingly called on us to come to a balanced, bipartisan solution, one that pays our bills, reduces our deficit, and draws common contributions from all Americans--not only the vulnerable and the unconnected, but also those who have enjoyed our Nation's prosperity.
That is the consensus of the vast majority of the people who sent us here. They understand that ``my way or the highway'' is no way to govern. They understand that all of us who had a hand in accumulating our debt must share the work of paying it off. They understand that the prosperity and prestige of our country are at stake right now. And they are relying on the [Page: H5700] ability of this body to put partisanship aside.
There will, in fact, be bipartisan opposition to this bill, but I predict there will be no Democrat for this bill because bipartisanship was not sought.
So I am deeply concerned that the short-term plan offered by Speaker Boehner would put us right back, right back here on the precipice of imminent default in just a few months, casting a pall of uncertainty over our economy and leading to a job-destroying credit downgrade.