Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

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January 14, 2013

President Obama's end-of-term press conference

(Continued)

Washington, D.C. —

 
 
 
So to even entertain the idea of this happening -- of the United States of America not paying its bills -- is irresponsible.  It’s absurd.  As the Speaker said two years ago, it would be -- and I'm quoting Speaker Boehner now -- “a financial disaster, not only for us, but for the worldwide economy.” 
 
 
 
So we've got to pay our bills.  And Republicans in Congress have two choices here:  They can act responsibly, and pay America’s bills; or they can act irresponsibly, and put America through another economic crisis.  But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy.  The financial well-being of the American people is not leverage to be used.  The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip. 
 
 
 
And they better choose quickly, because time is running short.  The last time Republicans in Congress even flirted with this idea, our AAA credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history; our businesses created the fewest jobs of any month in nearly the past three years; and, ironically, the whole fiasco actually added to the deficit. 
 
 
 
So it shouldn’t be surprising, given all this talk, that the American people think Washington is hurting, rather than helping, the country at the moment.  They see their representatives consumed with partisan brinksmanship over paying our bills, while they overwhelmingly want us to focus on growing the economy and creating more jobs. 
 
 
 
So let’s finish this debate.  Let’s give our businesses and the world the certainty that our economy and our reputation are still second to none.  We pay our bills.  We handle our business. And then we can move on -- because America has a lot to do.  We’ve got to create more jobs.  We've got to boost the wages of those who have work.  We’ve got to reach for energy independence. We've got to reform our immigration system.  We’ve got to give our children the best education possible, and we've got to do everything we can to protect them from the horrors of gun violence. 

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