As Clock Winds Down, Democratic Senate Candidates Speak Out Against the GOP’s Games With America’s Economy

Demanding that Republicans in Congress quit playing games with America’s future both Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate from New Mexico spoke out against the partisan brinksmanship in Washington. State Auditor Hector Balderas and Congressman Martin Heinrich, who are each seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman, issued strong statements condemning the latest actions of the Republican led House of Representatives.

Speaking out against Friday’s vote for the so-called “Budget Control Act of 2011” sponsored by Speaker Boehner by the Republican members of the House, U.S. Senate candidate and Congressman Martin Heinrich called on the GOP to stop “playing chicken” with the economic well being of American citizens.

“We’re just days away from an unprecedented default on the nation’s debt and the House once again sent us a bill that never stood a chance of passing the Senate. Not only is the Boehner Plan faulty in substance, it only forces us back to this standoff in a few months. His bill was never a viable option because experts like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have warned that a short-term extension could still cripple our economy and credit rating.  This game of chicken has gone on long enough and it’s time for the House to help us put something realistic on the table and get it passed so we can refocus on creating jobs and rebuilding the economy.”

“Speaker Boehner’s Default Act is at best partisan political theater to satisfy radical Tea Party freshman, and at worst a reckless, ideological plan that drives our economy into a ditch. Either way, the time Speaker Boehner spent these last few days forcing it down the throat of his Republican members was nothing but a waste of time.

“The Boehner Default Act would force us to go through this unnecessary drama all over again in 6 months. That is not something New Mexicans want nor deserve. I oppose this plan because it guarantees massive cuts for Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries, devastates the middle class, and puts the good faith and credit of our nation in jeopardy.

“At this late hour, the path forward is one that brings together both parties and puts the American people first—the very essence of a functioning democracy” Heinrich said.

Saying that inaction in Washington will have a devastating impact on New Mexico families, U.S. Senate candidate and State Auditor Hector Balderas said that if Washington fails to reach a compromise by Tuesday’s deadline, Members of Congress should be denied pay until a deal is reached.

 “With just over three days until we are faced with an unprecedented default, House Republicans are playing a dangerous game. Federal default is not our only worry. Recently, Moody’s announced that New Mexico is in jeopardy of losing its triple-A credit rating, because of Washington’s inability to take action. Our state is facing a situation of downgrade at best and default at worst.

 “This will have devastating effects on New Mexico families. A credit downgrade will result in higher interest payments on mortgages, car loans, student loans and small business loans. At a time when too many New Mexico families are already struggling, these consequences are the last things New Mexicans can afford.

 “As state Auditor, I work tirelessly to protect New Mexico’s economy. By ensuring that taxpayer’s hard earned money is being spent effectively and responsibly, my office has cut much of the waste, fraud and abuse that plagues states’ budgets. Our fiscal discipline has helped New Mexico maintain its triple-A rating. But because of Congress’ inability to grasp the basic principle that inaction will gravely harm our country, we are on the brink of disaster. This is unacceptable.

 “It’s time for Congress to quit playing political games with our financial and economic health. If our country defaults on its obligations, the first bills not paid should be members’ salaries, they should continue to go unpaid until a deal is reached, and these salaries should not be paid back retroactively. It’s high time for members of Congress to take responsibility for and bear the burden of their reckless inaction” Balderas said.