Congressman Crowley Speaks Out Against House Republicans’ Reckless “Pay China First” Act

May 9, 2013
Press Release

Crowley: “You could also call it the ‘Put America Last’ Act, because that’s exactly what it does.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), spoke on the House floor in opposition to House Republicans’ “Pay China First” Act (H.R. 807), legislation that would ensure that if House Republicans cause a default of our nation’s economy, bondholders from China and other foreign regimes and banks will be paid before our veterans, enlisted troops, and seniors on Medicare.

Click here to watch.

Crowley’s remarks as prepared:

“Mr. Speaker I rise in strong opposition to the ‘Pay China First’ Act.

“You could also call it the ‘Put America Last’ Act, because that's exactly what it does.

“It is a bill that will actually make Tea Party policies a reality -- turning us into a deadbeat nation.

“A nation that doesn't pay its bills.

“This Republican budget bill will codify into law a new low.

“It will ensure U.S. taxpayers always pay China and other regimes, and foreign banks first – before our veterans, before our seniors on Medicare, and even before our enlisted troops bravely serving overseas right now.

“It means we will be paying these folks, before we pay these folks [points to visuals].

“And, even the sponsors of the bill admit that in addition to putting China first and America last, their bill will also increase the deficit.

“Let me say that again: this bill not only pays China first, but it increases the deficit.

“What the Republican majority is doing with this bill is announcing to the world - everyone from small businesses who sell services to the government to grandmothers buying savings bonds for their grandchildren – that this Congress is serious about not paying our nation’s bills.

“I could not disagree more strongly - especially when the reality is that we just paid down $35 billion of the deficit this month.

“But, the majority has us here debating a bill that will not only put China First, but will actually increase the debt.

“If you ask me, I'd say their priorities are completely out of whack.

“This extreme Republican Congress has gone to a new level with this bill.

“Why don’t we ask the American people who should be paid first? [points to visuals]

“The Majority has made their decision.  I don’t think that is the choice of the American people.

“Oppose this ‘Pay China First’ bill. And, let’s keep America first.”

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.