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Letter from Rep. Kind: Kind votes against debt prioritization and default

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) today voted against H.R. 807, the "debt prioritization" bill that prioritizes paying bondholders from China and other countries ahead of those who rely on federal funding, in the event that the House majority causes a default of our nation's debts.

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"This bill has very little to do with fiscal responsibility. Congress needs to come to conference on a budget and craft a real deficit reduction deal, instead of pushing legislation that signals to global markets that the United States will default on our obligations for the very first time in our nation's history," said Rep. Kind. "Instead the House majority is playing political games with an ill-conceived bill that could send the markets into a tailspin, and leave people wondering 'who will the U.S. not pay next?'"

H.R. 807 plans for a default, and is a rerun of the same GOP-manufactured economic uncertainty that harmed American workers and businesses during the debt ceiling debacle two years ago. During the summer of 2011, when Congress just talked about the possibility of not paying our obligations, our previously-triple A-rated credit score was downgraded by Standard & Poor's, the Dow Jones plunged 2,000 points in July and August, and August 2011 was the single-worst month for job-creation in the last three years.

The bill would guarantee payments to some Treasury bondholders in a default. In doing so, however, it risks not paying scores of Americans, including 1.4 million active duty troops and 780,000 activated reserves and National Guard, 3.4 million disabled veterans, 1.3 million veterans who receive education or home purchasing assistance, 1.1 million doctors and other health care practitioners who provided health care to seniors with Medicare, and almost 32 million children who rely on school lunches.

"Prioritization equals default, which jeopardizes the full faith and credit of the United States," concluded Kind. "I have trouble believing that we are even considering this self-inflicted wound on American citizens and our economy."

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