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Nadler Statement on the Fiscal Responsibility Act

Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-12) released the below statement following the House's vote on the Fiscal Responsibility Act:

“With the prospect of a devastating default looming, House Republicans—one of whom eagerly described himself and his fellow conservatives as “hostage” takers—presented President Biden with an impossible decision: agree to their harmful cuts, or face an unprecedented default of the US economy.  

It’s incredibly unfortunate that Republicans took our country closer to default than we ever have been in our nation’s history. Congress has raised or suspended the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960—49 under Republican presidents, including 29 under Democrats. Democrats voted to raise the debt ceiling cleanly three times during the Trump Administration.  

Under the circumstances, I applaud President Biden for his leadership in crafting a deal that protects Democrats’ historic accomplishments included in the Inflation Reduction Act, while protecting our nation from a Republican-inflicted economic catastrophe. The President worked hard to protect Medicaid recipients, our veterans, and people experiencing homelessness from the damaging cuts proposed by Republicans. It is clear that this deal averts the most imminent harm of a Republican-led default.

With that in mind, I remain concerned about the expansion of work requirements for 50 to 54-year-old SNAP recipients. Work requirements simply do not work and don’t increase employment numbers or save our country money. What they do is make it harder for low-income individuals to get, on average, $8 a day for groceries. Work requirements are a failed policy that will increase and deepen poverty. 

I am also concerned that the deal rolls bedrock environmental and public health laws, namely, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)—and expedites the completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The deal would limit NEPA review by allowing the fossil fuel industry to conduct its own environmental review and codify various provisions of the Trump Administration’s 2020 NEPA regulations. I am in favor of some responsible permitting reform to boost the clean energy sector and build up our nation’s electrical grid. However, this deal goes too far and does nothing meaningful to accelerate transmission deployment. 

While I commend the President’s work and agree that this deal must pass to protect our economy from Republican "hostage" takers, I voted no on the bill after it received the votes needed to pass. I could not support a deal that included harmful spending cuts, bad permitting reform policies that undermine environmental justice, or work requirements for social safety net programs.”

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