Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, on Thursday railed against a bill proposed by Republicans to prioritize debt payments.
“Of all the bad ideas we’ve seen come to the floor of the House of Representatives, this is one of the worst—what it says is that the United States will not pay all of its bills,” Van Hollen said on Jansing & Co.
The bill, expected to pass the House Thursday, proposes that in the event the country hits the debt ceiling, the government will pay U.S. bondholders first. Next in line for payment would be people on Social Security. Democrats are seizing on a interview where Speaker Boehner effectively admitted that governments like China would be paid before troops.
“Listen, those who have loaned us money, like in any other proceeding, if you will, court proceeding, the bondholders usually get paid first,” Boehner told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “Same thing here.”
“The bills that we’re that gonna pay are to bond holders, like the government of China, but we’re not gonna pay our troops, or our veterans, or other obligations of the United States government. That sends a terrible signal to people around the country. A terrible signal to credit markets. And it would create huge damage to our economy,” Van Hollen said.