from the inbox:
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz issued the following statement today after participating in a Budget Committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to discuss the state of the U.S. economy.
“During today’s Budget Committee hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke provided a detailed outlook on America’s economic recovery – how it has strengthened in recent months and what work still needs to be done to continue economic growth.
“With action from President Obama and Congressional Democrats the last two years, we have seen six straight months of economic growth and the economy has added nearly 1.3 million private sector jobs over the last year. But with unemployment still at 9 percent and many American families and businesses still hurting, there is a lot more work to be done.
“Congress should be focused on job creation and providing businesses with the opportunity to strengthen and grow. However, Congressional Republicans have proposed immediate and expansive cuts to the budget this year—a move that threatens our economic recovery.
“We are committed to reducing our deficit, but we cannot do so at the expense of jobs and investments in growth. We must put a fiscally responsible plan in place that will not dismantle the progress we have made.
“As we work to create jobs and rein in our deficit, we cannot play politics with the nation’s debt ceiling. Chairman Bernanke said that not raising the debt ceiling would be ‘catastrophic’ to our financial system and Congress should not use this vote as a bargaining chip.
“But once again, Republicans are willing to put our nation at risk for the sake of politics. House Republicans have put forward a proposal to put foreign creditors – including China – before American families. They want to make sure we pay foreign debt before we pay Social Security beneficiaries, veterans and service members, or even pay back tax refunds.
“This Congress has been in session for five weeks now and in that time Republicans have voted to add a trillion dollars to the deficit and strip American families and businesses of their health care coverage. Now they are proposing severe cuts to our budget that could slash economic progress and put foreign creditors before Americans.
“I hope we can work together in the coming months to move our focus back where it belongs—on strengthening the middle class, creating jobs and reducing our federal deficit.”