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Sewell votes to extend government funding, suspend debt limit

Sewell’s office warned that failure to raise or suspend the debt limit would be catastrophic and the first default in U.S. history.

Office of Rep. Terri Sewell

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, voted to pass HR5304. This legislation would extend government funding through Dec. 3, suspend the debt limit to protect the full faith and credit of the United States, and provide emergency funding to address recent natural disasters and the resettlement of Afghan refugees. The bill passed in the House of Representatives.

“This legislation is absolutely essential to the well-being of the United States,” Sewell said. “In addition to providing critically important emergency funds to address Hurricane Ida and the resettlement of Afghan refugees, it would also prevent a global financial collapse by ensuring the U.S. meets its financial obligations to the world. Supporting this bill is the responsible thing to do, and I was proud to cast my vote for it today.”

Sewell’s office said that HR5304 includes provisions that would:

  • Extend funding for vital federal agencies, including education, health, housing, and public safety programs through December 3.
  • Fund and grow opportunity through early child education, investments in our schools, and high-quality job training programs
  • Provide a lifeline to the vulnerable through nutrition and affordable housing.
  • Honor Congress’ solemn responsibility to secure our nation and support our veterans.
  • Provide emergency disaster funding of $28.6 billion to address the rising cost of climate change in recent natural disasters including Hurricane Ida, wildfires, severe droughts and winter storms.
  • Provide $6.3 billion supplemental funding to support Afghan evacuees includes funding to temporarily house evacuees at American facilities and in foreign countries, provide necessary security screenings, and ultimately resettle evacuees in the United States. The legislation also includes funding to provide humanitarian assistance for Afghan refugees in neighboring countries.
  • Suspend the debt limit through December 2022, in order to meet the obligations that the government has already made and to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.

Sewell’s office warned that failure to raise or suspend the debt limit would be catastrophic and the first default in U.S. history, potentially jeopardizing all U.S. government payments, including Social Security payments, veterans’ benefits, military pay, payments to defense contractors, etc. It would also hurt American families by causing interest rates to go up and likely cause a nationwide recession, potentially damaging the livelihoods and savings of millions of working families across the country.

A default potentially could trigger a worldwide financial crisis because financial markets currently treat U.S. debt as the safest of assets, with all other assets around the world benchmarked against the U.S. A default would send waves of financial panic cascading through lots of other markets.

The U.S. debt is nearly $28.8 trillion and neither party has proposed a plan to balance the federal budget in the next four years.

Sewell is in her sixth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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