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Wednesday, December 16, 2009  

CONTACT: Cullen Schwarz
Office: (202) 225-5802



Rep. Peters Says Unconditional Debt Limit Increase not Acceptable

Peters Also Rejects Spending Bill Rushed through with Little Discussion and which Lacks Substantial Support for Small Business

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Gary Peters today voted “No” on a measure which would unconditionally raise America’s debt limit.  Rep. Peters also opposed a spending bill created by House leadership that was introduced this morning and rushed to the House floor for a vote tonight, arguing that the bill does not contain enough support for small businesses and that the House should have more time to carefully consider the legislation.  Congressman Peters also voted against adjourning the House until mid-January, instead preferring to keep the chamber working to create a well thought out, effective job creation package with significant steps to make credit available to small businesses.  On all three votes, Congressman Peters was among a small number in his party voting “No.”

The House voted this afternoon in favor of raising the legal limit to the amount of debt the United States can have on its books by nearly $300 billion, from about $12.1 to $12.4 trillion dollars by a vote of 218-214.  Congressman Peters opposed the measure.

“There is no way I can in good conscience vote for this unconditional increase in the debt limit,” said Congressman Peters.  “First, other alternatives should be explored; for example, reducing the authorization for TARP from $700 billion to $400 billion.  If a short-term increase is needed later to keep our nation from defaulting on its debt, I will only vote for it if it is attached to statutory ‘Pay-as-You-Go’ budget rules, budget cuts and other measures to bring down the deficit in the long run.”

The House also voted on a $150 billion spending package that includes a variety of spending measures unveiled this morning.  The bill passed 217-212.  Congressman Peters opposed the measure.

“I believe Congress must continue taking strong action to create jobs, but any jobs package should have significant support for small businesses,” said Congressman Peters.  “I have been arguing for months that expanding small business lending is critical to getting our economy moving again, and this bill should have had far more small business support.  Any job creation package should be fully debated and carefully considered, not rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline.” 

Congressman Peters also pointed out that some measures he strongly supports in the bill, such as extending unemployment benefits and an extension of COBRA assistance to help those who lose their jobs keep their employer health care, were also included in the Department of Defense appropriations bill, which he voted for earlier today and the House approved. 

Finally, Congressman Peters opposed adjourning the House today until mid-January.  The House passed this measure this morning by a vote of 222-195.

“Let’s stay here and thoroughly review a job creation package.  Let’s keep working, hold hearings, engage in a thoughtful dialogue and take our time to get a bill right so we can act effectively to get more people back to work.”