Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bennet Adds Another $34 Billion On Top Of Record $13 Trillion Federal Debt

Colorado’s Appointed Senator Insists on Using Borrowed Money To Pay For Political Bailout Efforts

WASHINGTON – After voting to raise the debt ceiling earlier this year to $14.3 trillion and then reversing course on his highly-touted “pay-go” legislation, appointed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) voted today to add another $34 billion to the federal debt by supporting an extension of unemployment benefits that will be paid for with borrowed money that future generations will be forced to pay back with interest.
Notably, Bennet previously introduced and lauded pay-go as a way to “rein in run-away spending and bring new fiscal restraint to Washington.” However, when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced legislation on four different occasions during the last month that would extend unemployment benefits paid for with unused stimulus funds, his efforts were blocked by Bennet and his Democrat colleagues in Washington every time.

“This debate is not about whether unemployment benefits should be extended – it’s about whether we pay for it now or add yet another $34 billion on top of the nation’s already record $13 trillion debt. Colorado’s working families and small businesses are forced to make tough economic decisions and live within their means every day, yet Michael Bennet holds himself to a different standard in Washington as he runs up billions of dollars of government debt that will be paid for by future generations with interest,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Press Secretary Amber Marchand. “Voters are tired of Michael Bennet’s reckless disregard for taxpayers’ hard-earned money, which is why they will elect a Republican Senator in November.”

Background Information:

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) Previously Applauded PAYGO Legislation:

· Bennet Lauded The House For Passing PAYGO Legislation. "U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today applauded the House of Representatives for passing legislation that would require greater fiscal restraint in Congress and reduce the national deficit. The legislation, known as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), would require Congress to find a way to pay for all new spending or tax cuts." (Senator Michael Bennet, Press Release, "Senate PAYGO Sponsors Applaud House Passage," 7/22/09)

· Bennet Called PAYGO Legislation "Common Sense." Unfortunately, under the last administration that simple, common sense law was abandoned, and the results speak for themselves,’ Bennet said. ‘Coloradans have been forced to tighten their fiscal belts. It’s time the government did too."’ (Senator Michael Bennet, Press Release, "Senate PAYGO Sponsors Applaud House Passage," 7/22/09)

· Bennet Introduced PAYGO Legislation In The Senate. "U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today introduced legislation that would force Congress to rein in run-away spending and bring new fiscal restraint to Washington. The legislation, known as Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO), would require Congress to find a way to pay for all new entitlement spending or tax cuts, rather than adding to the national deficit." (Senator Michael Bennet, Press Release, "McCaskill, Bennet Introduce Senate PAYGO Bill," 8/6/09)

In November 2009, Democrats Called Off-Setting Unemployment Benefits “Fiscally Responsible”:

· PRESIDENT OBAMA: “It Is Fully Paid For, And So It Is Fiscally Responsible.” “Now, it's important to note that the bill I signed will not add to our deficit. It is fully paid for, and so it is fiscally responsible.” (President Obama, Remarks, 11/6/09)

· SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “These Benefits Are Fully Offset…” “Summary of Reid-Baucus Amendment: Extended Unemployment Benefits. Provides unemployed workers in all states who have exhausted benefits with an additional 14 weeks of benefits. Authorizes an additional 6 weeks of benefits for workers in high unemployment states (those with unemployment rates of 8.5% or higher). These benefits are fully offset...” (Sen. Reid, Press Release, 11/4/09)

· WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET: “It Is Fiscally Responsible, Paid For.” It is fiscally responsible, paid for by postponing tax provisions benefiting U.S. multinational corporations and other measures.” (“Fact Sheet: The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009,” The White House, 11/6/09)

Republicans Asked For Unanimous Consent To Extend Expired Unemployment Benefits On June 14, 17, 24, And 30 – But Democrats Objected Each Time:

· SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “So The Biggest Reason The Cloture Vote We Just Had Failed Is Because Democrats Simply Refused To Pass A Bill That Does Not Add To The Debt.” (Sen. McConnell, Congressional Record, S.5420, 6/24/10)