06/03/2011 03:11 pm ET | Updated Aug 03, 2011

Let's Focus on Creating Jobs, Not Playing Chicken With the Debt Ceiling

I wonder how long House Republicans are going to continue playing ideological games with the economy. Moody's Investors Service announced yesterday that it might begin a review to downgrade our government's credit rating. This follows a failed House vote on raising the debt ceiling with not one Republican voting in favor of the increase.

Leading economists from across the political spectrum agree that downgrading our credit rating would increase our borrowing costs and actually increase the deficit. Dilly-dallying with the debt ceiling is clearly the wrong direction for our country.

I voted to increase the debt ceiling because it's time to focus on job creation and deficit reduction in a serious way. Our country is slowly pulling itself out of the Great Recession, but we're still leaving millions of unemployed Americans behind.

Instead of forcing drastic cuts on the middle class that will increase the ranks of the unemployed, I urge my colleagues to support the People's Budget developed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Unlike the Republican budget, the People's Budget balances the budget by 2021, creates jobs, and strengthens Medicare.

Republicans profess to be against deficits, but they are experts at creating and exacerbating deficits. The Bush administration's two wars, reckless tax cuts for billionaires, and pharmaceutical giveaway left us with record deficits and an economy on the brink of collapse. Not exactly a sterling track record. Now they're doubling down on this bad track record by playing a game of chicken over the debt ceiling.

It's time for House Republicans to increase the debt ceiling, get serious about governing, and focus on creating jobs.