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ICYMI: Shaheen Slams GOP for Prioritizing Political Games over American Families by Jeopardizing Government Shutdown & Default on National Debt

9.23.21 Shaheen delivers remarks on Senate floor

Senator Shaheen delivered remarks on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon. 

(Washington, DC) – On Thursday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) delivered remarks on the Senate floor blasting Senate Republicans for their partisan obstruction that risks a government shutdown this week and a default by the U.S. on its financial obligations. Both of these manufactured crises by congressional Republicans would spell disaster for the U.S. with serious ramifications for the U.S. economy, currency, national security and the financial stability of American workers – particularly during the health and economic crisis spurred by COVID-19. Ahead of today’s procedural vote in the Senate to advance a continuing resolution to extend government funding and avoid a government shutdown, Shaheen urged Republican lawmakers to stop playing politics with American families and work with Democrats to fund the government and raise the debt limit.

Here are some highlights from her speech last week:

On what’s at stake with the looming government shutdown and failure to raise the debt ceiling: “Let’s not mince words: the prospect of the first ever default on our nation’s debt obligations would be disastrous for our economy at a time when we can least afford it…This is not a game. The stability of our economy and the financial security of working Americans are at stake. We have an obligation to immediately pass legislation sent to us by the House to keep our government open.”

On Republican hypocrisy in their refusal to act on the debt ceiling – which pays off debts accrued during the Trump administration that Republicans heartily endorsed: “And let’s not lose sight of the hypocrisy these partisan shenanigans represent. Minority Leader McConnell himself has voted to increase or suspend the debt limit 32 times. When President Trump was in office, Democrats in this chamber supported raising the debt ceiling three times, because we understand it’s grossly irresponsible for us to renege on obligations our government has already incurred. Now, under President Biden, Republicans are saying they won’t lift a finger to prevent this catastrophic outcome for our economy, for our currency and for the full faith and credit of the United States.”

On the need for bipartisanship to deliver for the American people and avoid catastrophic national consequences: “Republicans’ political games are risking serious consequences. This all must stop. I know we can work together in a rational, bipartisan way to address our country’s basic needs because I’ve seen it with my own eyes, most recently on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed this chamber. There is no excuse for delaying or hindering the basic functions this legislative body is constituted to perform, and I urge my colleagues on the other side to join us and get to work.”

Her remarks can be viewed in full here.