Spanberger Votes Against Partisan Plan That Would Move Congress No Closer to Raising Debt Ceiling, Increase Likelihood of Recession, and Slash Support for Virginia Families & Seniors

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting against partisan legislation that would — according to Moody’s — “meaningfully increase the likelihood” of a recession in the U.S. economy.

“We can pay our nation’s bills while also having responsible conversations about federal spending. Unfortunately, this process was an outright refusal to reckon with the serious nature of the economic catastrophe that’s approaching. This messaging bill will die in the U.S. Senate, and we will have accomplished nothing besides watching Speaker McCarthy prove a point.

“Meanwhile, this bill has highlighted the priorities of House GOP leadership. A broad-brush, no-questions-asked cut of 22 percent across the board would be devastating to Virginia families, seniors, and Veterans. This bill would force severe cuts to food safety inspections, rail safety, Meals on Wheels, air traffic controllers, Customs and Border Protection personnel who keep our nation secure, and Veterans’ outpatient care. And instead of responsibly raising the debt ceiling, it threatens to not only push our country into recession — but destabilize global markets.

“The Virginians I represent expect me to rise above the political games and prevent our economy from tanking. That’s the very reason why I’ve been working with a bipartisan group of legislators — the Problem Solvers Caucus — to brainstorm more ideas for how both parties can work together to address our federal deficits while also raising the debt ceiling. But right now, it’s time to pay our nation’s bills, operate in good faith, and recognize that this moment is not a time for a doomed-to-fail legislative exercise concocted in Washington, D.C. think tanks — it’s a time for governance.”

Economists predict significant economic damage if Congress does not prevent a default on U.S. debt obligations. According to a Joint Economic Committee report, a default would:  

  • Jeopardize Social Security payments for 69,000 families in Virginia’s Seventh District.
  • Disrupt roughly $124,000,000 a month in total Social Security income for Seventh District families.
  • Risk health benefits for the 229,000 Seventh District residents who get their health insurance through Medicare, Medicaid, or Veterans Affairs coverage, and
  • Raise monthly mortgage payments for the average new homeowner in Virginia by $150 – meaning an extra $54,000 over the life of their home loan.

Earlier this month, Moody’s Analytics predicted that a default would trigger a loss of seven million jobs, push the unemployment rate over eight percent, eliminate approximately $10 trillion in household wealth, and reduce America’s real GDP by almost four percent.

BACKGROUND

Spanberger has long warned about the negative effects of a default and the hyper-partisanship surrounding this process. In February 2023, she joined Prince William County business leaders to sound the alarm on how a potential default would be devastating for Virginia’s economy.

Spanberger has also spoken out against proposed cuts in the House GOP plan. Earlier today, Spanberger spoke on the U.S. House floor to highlight this legislation’s threat to the Meals on Wheels program, which serves approximately 1.9 million meals to Virginia seniors each year. During her comments, she shared personal stories sent to her office about the importance of Meals on Wheels to seniors, their families, and their caregivers. Click here to watch her full comments.

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