Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut
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Esty Leads 178 House Democrats In Calling on Speaker Boehner to End Threat of Government Shutdown and Default

Oct 31, 2013
Press Release
In Letter to Speaker Boehner, Esty & Colleagues Urge House GOP Leadership to Publicly Declare They Will Not Use Threat of Government Shutdown or Default as Political Tactic in Future Budget Negotiation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As lawmakers from both parties begin to negotiate a long-term budget agreement, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) led 178 House Democrats in calling on Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership to publicly declare that they will not use the threat of a government shutdown or default as a political tactic in the budget talks. Underscoring the economic damage caused by the most recent shutdown, the group of lawmakers said that Congress must work together to pass a responsible budget agreement and take the crippling twin threats of a shutdown and default off the table for good. 

“We are sending a clear message to the Republican leadership on behalf of the American people – No More Shutdowns,” said Esty and Kuster.

“The 16-day-long federal government shutdown is over and default on America’s debt has been averted, although no one is relieved that this latest crisis ever occurred. Now, we are deeply concerned that the American people are in danger of another shutdown or threat of default early next year,” the lawmakers wrote. “The most powerful source of uncertainty to American families and businesses is the threat of a government shutdown and default on our debts. That is why we are writing to you to urge you and your leadership to publicly declare that you will not again use the threat of a government shutdown or default as leverage in the important discussions regarding long-term deficit reduction and economic growth.”

On October 16, Esty was part of a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers that voted for a bill that ended the recent 16 day shutdown, prevented a default, and gave Congress more time to work together on a balanced, long-term budget agreement. On October 9, Esty also introduced a motion to bring forward a bill to immediately reopen the government though it was blocked by House GOP leaders.

The full text of the group’s letter is below. A copy of the original letter can be viewed here.

October 31, 2013

Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
Washington, D.C.  20515

Dear Mr. Speaker,

The 16-day-long federal government shutdown is over and default on America’s debt has been averted, although no one is relieved that this latest crisis ever occurred.  Now, we are deeply concerned that the American people are in danger of another shutdown or threat of default early next year.

The most powerful source of uncertainty to American families and businesses is the threat of a government shutdown and default on our debts. That is why we are writing to you to urge you and your leadership to publicly declare that you will not again use the threat of a government shutdown or default as leverage in the important discussions regarding long-term deficit reduction and economic growth.

The American people depend on their elected representatives to be problem solvers and get our work done. When we fail to do our job, however, it is not the American people who should pay the price for our inability to reach critical agreements.

The cost to our nation is too high. The absence of paychecks to hundreds of thousands of federal employees during the course of the shutdown caused real economic hardship to those employees and their families and to private businesses whose livelihoods were affected by the shutdown.

Ratings agencies and economists from across the political spectrum agree that the shutdown and threat of default took a real toll on our economy and that the possibility of repeating these crises is causing ongoing uncertainty and economic weakness.

• Standard & Poor’s estimated that the recent shutdown cost our economy $24 billion and reduced 4th quarter GDP growth by 0.6 percent. The shutdown triggered higher short-term interest rates, adding $100 million to the federal budget deficit in the last week of the shutdown alone.  And Standard & Poor’s said that the threat of another shutdown and possible default weighs heavily on the economy. “The short turnaround for politicians to negotiate some sort of lasting deal will weigh on consumer confidence, especially among government workers that were furloughed,” the agency said in its October 16 report.
• Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, “said he has downgraded his projected growth for the gross domestic product for the last quarter of this year from 2.6 percent to 2.1 percent because of the shutdown and simply the threat that Congress would not raise the debt ceiling on time,” according the Times-Tribune of Scranton, PA.
• Joel Naroff, founder of Naroff Economic Advisors, said the “shutdown trimmed fourth-quarter growth by 20% - an outcome any business would ‘consider a disaster’,'' according to USA Today.
• Gennadiy Goldberg, economist at TD Securities, said, “’The recovery is on hold for another four months,’ citing the unresolved differences in Washington over the government budget,” according to Thompson/Reuters.
• And Adam Posen of the Peterson Institute for International Economics said, “This will accelerate the rate at which the Chinese renminbi becomes accepted — at least throughout Asia — as an alternative to the dollar, or Chinese government bonds become accepted as an alternative [to U.S. Treasurys],” according to National Public Radio.

This sobering economic hardship should have never been visited upon the American people. The shutdown and threat of default were unnecessary and costly.

Congress has voted itself 90 days to reach a long-term budget agreement. We respectfully request that Congress work hard to reach an agreement sooner than that and that you and your colleagues in leadership remove the threat of another shutdown or default on America’s debt as a weapon in these talks.

We are working in good faith to meet our responsibilities and achieve the goals set out in last week’s agreement to open the government and avoid default.  All House Democrats and some Republicans voted for that agreement.  By acting now to take the threat of another shutdown or default off the table you can provide certainty and economic relief that American families and privates businesses desperately need.

Sincerely,

Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty
Rep. Ann McLane Kuster
Rep. Xavier Becerra
Rep. Pete P. Gallego
Rep. Denny Heck
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly
Rep. Daniel B. Maffei
Rep. Suzanna Bonamici
Rep. Dina Titus
Rep. Alan Grayson
Rep. James P. McGovern
Rep. John A. Yarmuth
Rep. Janice Hahn
Rep. Karen Bass
Rep. Marc A. Veasey
Rep. Joyce Beatty
Rep. Joe Crowley
Rep. Bradley S. Schneider
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. James A. Himes
Rep. Jackie Speier
Rep. David N. Cicilline
Rep. Frederica S. Wilson
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Rep. Kathy Castor
Rep. Joaquin Castro
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo
Rep. Michael F. Doyle
Rep. David Scott
Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.
Rep. Mark Pocan
Rep. Timothy H. Bishop
Rep. Cedric L. Richmond
Rep. Mike Thompson
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Rep. James E. Clyburn
Rep. Henry Cuellar
Rep. Paul Tonko
Rep. John P. Sarbanes
Rep. Ed Pastor
Rep. Ben Ray Luján
Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Rep. Richard M. Nolan
Rep. Gene Green
Rep. André D. Carson
Rep. Daniel Lipinski
Rep. Brian Higgins
Rep. Michael H. Michaud
Rep. William L. Enyart
Rep. Betty McCollum
Rep. John Garamendi
Del. Madeleine Z. Bordallo
Rep. Doris O. Matsui
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
Rep. Alcee Hastings
Rep. Adam B. Schiff
Rep. Joe Courtney
Rep. Scott H. Peters
Rep. Charles B. Rangel
Rep. Steve Cohen
Rep. Yvette D. Clark
Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.
Rep. Marcia Fudge
Rep. Diana DeGette
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez
Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky
Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro
Rep. Nita M. Lowey
Rep. Linda T. Sánchez
Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr.
Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio
Rep. Rick Larsen
Rep. Corrine Brown
Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Rep. David E. Price
Rep. Danny K. Davis
Rep. Elliot L. Engel
Rep. Henry A. Waxman
Rep. George Miller
Rep. Maxine Waters
Rep. José E. Serrano
Rep. Lois Capps
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Rep. Stephen F. Lynch
Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Del. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan
Rep. Eric Swalwell
Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal
Rep. Cheri Bustos
Rep. Julia Brownley
Rep. Theodore E. Deutch
Rep. Ron Barber
Rep. Timothy J. Walz
Rep. Jim McDermott
Rep. Lois Frankel
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Loretta Sanchez
Rep. Sam Farr
Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
Rep. Jerry McNerney
Rep. Rush Holt
Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, III
Rep. Bill Foster
Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz
Rep. Tony Cárdenas
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter
Rep. David Loebsack
Rep. Judy Chu
Rep. Susan A. Davis
Rep. Patrick Murphy
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
Rep. Grace F. Napolitano
Rep. Niki Tsongas
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney
Rep. Jim Cooper
Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod
Rep. John K. Delaney
Rep. Jared Huffman
Rep. Juan Vargas
Rep. Chris Van Hollen
Rep. Michael M. Honda
Rep. Collin C. Peterson
Rep. Jim Costa
Rep. Sander M. Levin
Rep. Grace Meng
Rep. Chellie Pingree
Rep. Raul Ruiz
Rep. Steven A. Horsford
Rep. Zoe Lofgren
Rep. John C. Carney, Jr.
Rep. Ami Bera
Rep. Ed Perlmutter
Rep. Matt Cartwright
Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. Jared Polis
Rep. Derek Kilmer
Rep. John B. Larson
Rep. Joe Garcia
Rep. Ron Kind
Rep. Mark Takano
Rep. Keith Ellison
Rep. James P. Moran
Rep. Peter J. Visclosky
Rep. Rubén E. Hinojosa
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. Chaka Fattah
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez
Rep. Peter Welch
Rep. G.K. Butterfield
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney
Rep. John D. Dingell
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
Rep. Albio Sires
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy
Rep. Brad Sherman
Rep. Gwen Moore
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
Rep. Robert E. Andrews
Rep. Bruce L. Braley
Del. Donna M. Christensen
Rep. Robin Kelly
Rep. Robert A. Brady
Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth
Rep. James R. Langevin
Rep. Suzan DelBene
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Rep. Daniel T. Kildee
Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries
Rep. Steve Israel
Rep. Al Green
Rep. John F. Tierney
Rep. William R. Keating

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