Congressman Peters voted for the debt ceiling bill to prevent a catastrophic default and protect crucial programs and investments. But he knows we can’t keep handling the debt ceiling this way. He’s pushing for reforms that address our national debt and put an end to this risky procedure.
Read more about the vote in this June 1st piece from KPBS, posted below:
San Diego County Reps. stand united in support of debt ceiling deal, except one
By Kitty Alvarado
June 1, 2023
The debt ceiling bill is on its way to the Senate after being passed by the House of Representatives. It passed on a bipartisan basis, 314 voting yes, 117 voting against it.
Every representative with districts in San Diego County voted yes, except one, Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA 52). Vargas declined an interview but did speak to our media partner 10 News on Wednesday and explained his vote.
“They went after poor people for food. I mean, they’re taking food out of the mouths of poor people. It’s ridiculous. And so I couldn’t vote for anything like that,” Vargas said.
Vargas went on to say that because he sat on the Financial Services Committee, he knew the effect a failed bill would have on the economy and that the predetermined nature of vote impacted his decision.
“I do understand how devastating it would be (if the bill failed) and, and again, the situation would have been different if I didn’t know the outcome before I went to the vote. But I knew the outcome before the vote, I knew it was going to pass.”
Most of the representatives who voted to raise the debt limit felt relieved, like Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA 50) and Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA 49).
“Well, I’m glad I supported it because the worst thing that could happen would be a catastrophic default on our debt and a threat to our economic leadership and standing in the world,” Peters said.
“It wasn’t the bill that I would have wanted, but, it did the most important thing which is prevented a default on the full faith and credit of the United States,” Levin said.
Economists and congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle agree, the consequences of the bill not getting through the Senate and signed by the President would be catastrophic.
“You’re looking at, depending on the analysis, between a 25% to 40% hit to the stock market within a matter of weeks. And I look at things like 7.1 million veterans, who won’t get their disability checks and the many millions of Americans who rely on social security who wouldn’t be getting social security,” Levin said.
Peters and Levin said there were items in the bill they ordinarily would have voted against like raising the work requirement age to qualify for cash and food assistance known as SNAP.
“We had an issue about work requirements, should you have to work a certain amount to be able to qualify for benefits? The Republicans wanted to impose that on Medicaid, which have been, would have been really devastating,” Peters said.
But both representatives said they compromised and got things they fought for too.
“We were also able to help children and veterans and foster kids as well, maybe get benefits that they hadn’t had before too,” Peters said. “It’s tough to make a deal like this, but I think it was a fair deal.”
And both say something should be done so the country’s financial future isn’t held hostage every couple of years.
“For all this talk about debt and deficit, we didn’t really do anything about that in the long term as well, and so we have to get back to work on that and figure out how to come together as Republicans and Democrats and put our, our country on a, on a fiscally sound sustainable path,” Peters said.
“It’s very important for us to not put ourselves in this situation again, whether it’s every couple years or every five or 10 years, we’ve got to do something different, manage our deficit, manage our debt, try to work together,” said Levin. “We can stand up for our values at the same time, but we can’t use the debt limit as a mechanism. It’s simply too dangerous.”
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA 48) said in a statement late Thursday, “This is an important step to restoring fiscal sanity and again holding Washington accountability to the taxpayer that will be the largest deficit reduction in history. For the first time in a decade, spending year over year will be cut, while still providing funding for veterans, the national defense and protecting senior Social Security. This deal rescinds tens of billions of Biden’s unspent COVID funds – the largest rescission package in history. It stops the Biden IRS hiring spree and Biden’s unconstitutional Biden student loan bailout. In summary, five months ago House Republicans started the task of stopping Biden’s inflationary and regulatory overreach. This bill will sign into law multiple successes and is an important step in the right direction.”