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Congressman Adam Smith: Suspension of Debt Limit 'Punts' Deficit Issue

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) said he voted against H.R. 325, the “No Budget, No Pay Act,” because it delays "addressing our debt limit in a serious way."

The House of Representatives voted to suspend the debt limit Wednesday, but Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) joined 144 representatives in the House to oppose the “No Budget, No Pay Act."

Smith released a statement Thursday saying that the legislation doesn't address how Congress plans to address cutting spending and raising revenue to pay off the nation's debts.

According to the Washington Post, HR 325 allows the federal government to borrow past a $16.4 trillion debt ceiling until May 19 in order to pay its obligations. According to the Post:

[P]robably sometime this summer, the threat of default will once again loom unless lawmakers can reach a consensus on long-term tax and spending policies.

The act passed the House of Representatives 285 to 144, with 199 Republicans and 86 Democrats voting in favor of suspending the debt ceiling, according to the House's roll call record. Voting against it were 111 Democrats -- including Smith, whose district includes Bellevue, Renton and Mercer Island -- and 33 Republicans. Three Democrats did not vote.

Smith, who lives in Bellevue, released the following statement after he opposed H.R. 325, the “No Budget, No Pay Act”:

"Rather than increasing the debt limit in a long-term way that would provide certainty and stability for our economy, the legislation passed by the House of Representatives simply punts the debt limit issue until May.  By choosing to delay addressing our debt limit in a serious way, we only make matters worse.

“The debt limit allows the U.S. government to pay back its debts and in no way increases our spending.  Not being able to find long-term solutions to our debt limit will only prevent the U.S. from being able to pay back our debts – not reduce our deficits. Congress and the American people need to be serious about reducing our deficits by cutting spending and increasing revenue. The proposal passed today fails to get us on a path to fiscal security. “

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