Durbin Votes For Bipartisan Debt Ceiling Agreement To Avoid First Ever Default On Our Nation’s Debt

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act—preventing the first-ever default on our national debt.  The legislation now heads to the President’s desk for his signature. 

“Thankfully, Congress has once again performed its constitutional duty and prevented a first-ever default on our national debt.  Defaulting on our national debt is unacceptable and unthinkable.  This agreement represents a true compromise—neither side got everything they wanted.  So as painful as some of the decisions are that may come from this agreement—including the cut to medical research funding—they are inevitable to avoid a catastrophic default on our debt.”

The Fiscal Responsibility Act avoids a default on our nation’s debt, maintains funding for clean energy incentives, protects student debt relief for millions of borrowers, and beats back extreme cuts to programs that families rely on.  It protects Medicaid, and it minimizes the harmful cuts to SNAP and TANF benefits that were being demanded by Congressional Republicans, while expanding SNAP benefits for veterans, people who are homeless, and youth transitioning out of foster care.

Durbin has been vocal about his deep disappointment in Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Congressional Republicans who forced roughly $500 million in cuts to medical research funding as a condition for America not defaulting on its debt for the first time in history.  Durbin has vowed, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to work to try and reverse any harm done to the National Institutes of Health as part of this agreement.