WASHINGTON, October 16 -

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The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.

It is a sign that the U.S. Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we depend on financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policy. Money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China, borrowed from Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers.

The rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy. Robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America's priorities.

Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices onto the backs of our children and our grandchildren. Americans deserve better.

Driving up our national debt is irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.

These are the words of Senator Barack Obama in 2006 and in 2008.

Madam Speaker, what was irresponsible and unpatriotic is all of a sudden responsible conduct? I think not.

We should be talking about cutting spending before we start raising America's debt ceiling.

And that's just the way it is.

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