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On Senate Floor, Rubio Challenges President & Senate Democrats On “Cut, Cap & Balance”

Jul 21, 2011 | Press Releases

Rubio: “I have watched the President give press conferences, I have watched the President give speeches, but I have yet to see a plan from the President.  And with all due respect to my colleagues in the other party here in the Senate, I haven’t seen a plan from them either. They are the majority party. They control this chamber. They control the Senate. And I haven’t seen a plan from them.”


Senator Rubio: “Every single one of us as adults has a credit rating. In essence, there are two or three companies out there that basically rate you as an individual. What they do is they give you a credit rating that determines number one, whether you’re willing to pay back and number two whether you have the money to pay people back. And based on that, you get something called a credit score. People are familiar with that. Every time you try to go lease or buy a car or buy a house, or anything on credit they are going to run your credit. And it is going to tell them this is John Smith, this is so and so, and this is his credit rating. And based on that, people will decide whether to lend you money or not.

“Well, countries have credit ratings, too. And it’s based on two things. Number one is your history of paying people back. And two, on your ability to pay them back in the future. And there are three major companies in the world that give credit ratings to countries, three major companies. And what those companies are saying right now is that we’re looking at America and we are worried, we’re worried about two things.  They are worried about this debt limit issue and the fact that if the debt limit is not raised, they are going to downgrade us because we’re going to miss payments on this, that or the other. They are worried about that.  But they are a lot more worried about something else. And It’s not our willingness to pay back. It’s our ability to pay back people that lend money to the United States. … Here’s what they are saying in plain English. The debt limit is a problem but it is the least of your problems. Your bigger problem is the debt. And if all you do is pass an increase to the debt limit and it doesn’t come with a serious, credible, substantial plan to deal with the debt, you’re in big trouble.


Senator Rubio: “You can either trust that future Congresses will do what virtually no Congress in the history of this nation has ever done, and that is control themselves — and I say this because when Republicans were in charge, Democrats were in charge, they have never been able to control spending money. If you let politicians spend money that they don’t have, they will spend it. I don’t care who’s in charge. That’s what history teaches us.  So we can either trust that somehow in the future, Congress won’t do that, or we can put into law limits on their ability to do that. And that’s why — that’s why I’m for things like a spending cap and a balanced budget amendment because I think if you don’t have restrictions in place, it isn’t going to happen.

“Almost every state in the country has a balanced budget amendment. I come from a state where there is a balanced budget amendment. I assure you I don’t care who is in charge or how conservative they claim to be. If you don’t have laws in place that keep politicians from spending money that they are borrowing, they will borrow the money and spend it. And history will back that up.

“The second issue is how do you generate more money for this controlled government? And that’s the crux of the debate we’re having here today.  Some of my colleagues believe the way you do it is you raise taxes, especially on rich people. To some people, that may sound appealing.  Here’s the problem. It doesn’t raise nearly enough money if you could even collect it. It doesn’t raise nearly enough money.  Now, from the only tax plans that I have seen put out there by the administration and some of my colleagues here on the other side of the aisle, it adds up to less than ten days’ worth of deficit spending. We do know, however, that these increases in taxes could kill jobs.

“The other way you could generate more revenue for government — and it’s the way I think we should do it — is you grow your economy. You get more people back to work, and so now more people are paying taxes. You get people that are working to make more money because their businesses are doing better, and so they are paying more taxes. And the government uses that money not to grow government, it uses that money to pay down its debt and control itself.”


Senator Rubio: “I have watched the President give press conferences, I have watched the President give speeches, but I have yet to see a plan from the President.  And with all due respect to my colleagues in the other party here in the Senate, I haven’t seen a plan from them either. They are the majority party. They control this chamber. They control the Senate. And I haven’t seen a plan from them.

“A moment ago we heard this talk about – well we have to compromise. Well it’s really hard to compromise when the other side doesn’t have a plan. What do you compromise on? Where is your plan? You can’t compromise if only one person is offering plans.  There is only one plan that has been voted on by any House to deal with this issue, and it’s the one we’re on right now, Cut, Cap and Balance. I would submit that if you don’t like Cut, Cap and Balance, if you don’t think we need to cut spending, cap spending and balance our budget, then show us your alternative.

“Or maybe you do believe we need to cut, cap and balance, but you don’t like the way this bill cuts spending, caps spending and balances spending. Fine. Offer your version of Cut, Cap and Balance.  Let’s proceed to this bill. Let’s get on this bill that the House has passed and if you don’t like it, change it. You’ve got the votes here to do it. If you’ve got a better, bring this bill up and amend it. Put your ideas on it.

“But how could you ask for compromise? How could you ask the House– how could you scold Republicans in the House for refusing to compromise if you don’t have a plan of your own? How can you compromise if you don’t have any ideas of your own? It’s not a fair thing to say.  And so I would urge the leadership of this chamber and the President of the United States to offer their ideas on paper. Put your ideas on paper and offer them so we can begin to work on this concept of compromise that you’ve offered.  Because you can’t compromise and you can’t negotiate with people that will not offer a plan.

“Let’s get — why don’t you vote to proceed to cut, cap and balance?  Proceed to this bill so we could have a debate on this bill and so you could offer your ideas on this bill. This is the perfect opportunity to do it.  Let’s stop negotiating in the media and through press conferences and start doing it here on this floor, which is what people sent us here to do.”