September 24, 2013

Kaine Condemns Crisis-Budgeting At Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a Senate Budget Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine questioned leading economists Dr. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, Dr. Chad Stone of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Dr. Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University, on the serious economic consequences of crisis-budgeting. 

With last week’s action in the House of Representatives proving that many in that body – as well as some Republican Senators - are willing to shut down the government and default on our debt because of their opposition to the Affordable Care Act, Kaine directly asked each economist whether a government shutdown or a default on the federal debt would be harmful to the economy.

In response to whether a government shutdown would be harmful to the economy, all three economists replied, “yes.” On the question of whether a default would be harmful, answers ranged from “cataclysmic,” to “absolutely” to “of course.”

Kaine also highlighted how the continued unwillingness of Republicans in the House and Senate to compromise on budget matters has caused Congress to lurch from crisis to crisis, including the current situation.  

”I do not know of a single Democratic member of the Senate or House who either wants to shut down government or is advocating or threatening a shutdown of government. I do not know of a single Democratic member of the Senate or House who either wants to default on America’s debt or is advocating or threatening a default on America’s debt. And I don’t know of a single Democratic member of the Senate or House who has blocked us from going to a budget conference which we’ve been trying to go to for six months ago yesterday.”

Since taking office, Kaine has consistently called for an end to budgeting-by-crisis and a return to normal budget order.

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