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Congressman Charles Rangel

Representing the 13th District of New York

Rangel Floor Statement on Debt Ceiling Resolution

September 13, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Charles Rangel gave the following remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the House Republican effort to once again take our economy to the brink of default through a debt ceiling resolution of disapproval:

Mr. Rangel: "I rise in -- against this resolution. I thought that the Congress has already passed this very, very embarrassing experience. You read the papers today and see the pain that exists throughout these United States, it's not Republican or Democratic pain, it's pain that people are feeling as a result of the lack of economic growth in our great country.

When you see the number of years and decades that this Congress has approved the President's authority to increase the debt ceiling for the purpose of maintaining the fiscal integrity of our country and therefore the democracy-loving countries that depend on the credibility of our fiscal condition, I would have hoped that we would think of this issue not in terms of the political implications but how does America perceive us to be.

Quite frankly, without being political in watching the debate the other night, it wasn't that it annoyed me but I was just so disappointed that the world might think that represented the principles of my country. People laughing about execution and laughing about people dying. I'm certain nobody in this Body takes pride in that type of thing. But to go against the President's ability to maintain the integrity of the United States of America I think it is just so wrong.

There are good reasons that we can't challenge as to why our approval rating as a Body is so low. I don't think anybody can walk away feeling a problem. Liberal or conservative.

The reason it is because people go to sleep at night worried about what we are doing and debating under question of revoking giving the power of the president to protect the integrity of our great nation. No, they go to bed at night having hope that maybe tomorrow they'll get a job, maybe they'll be able to guarantee their health insurance; maybe their kids will have a better life; maybe we'll stop fooling around playing politics with the future of this great country; just maybe one day we'll be more concerned about the lack of default and the credit of our country than our own re-election.

I know it seems absurd that we can wish that, but if you think about it, they are not talking about Democrats' polls being low. They are not just talking about Republican polls being low. They are talking about all of us.

And the greatest thing about America, far beyond our military and economic wealth, is the trust that people used to have in government. And once they lose that, whether they are poor or whether they belong to that small number of people who hold the nation's wealth, then the country is in desperate trouble. So I hope that people who witness this debate recognize that the opposition is not speaking for the country or the Congress, but probably for the Republican National Committee."