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From the Desk of Congressman Gary Ackerman: August 3, 2011

Ackerman Votes Against Debt Ceiling Agreement

U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) issued the following statement on voting no on the debt ceiling agreement:

“First, with all the conflict and frustration surrounding this vote, I’m reverting to basic principles. One of which is, ‘don’t negotiate with thugs.’ It’s been long obvious that we have no partner with whom to negotiate; only a party that started as our comrades in government, then our colleagues, who evolved into our opponents, declared themselves our enemies and now demand that we be their enablers. I refuse to play.

“Thugs are in the game to destroy, not build. They would destroy the government, and especially this presidency. They take hostages, and there is much work at stake that would be their next targets. It will be endless. The president has given into all of their demands, and they remain insatiable. It’s time we starved the beast. Then...

“They came to Washington they say committed not to do business as usual. Then they demanded that we protect every loophole, every billionaire and every greedy element in our society except those who need some help.

“They set-up something that is their fail safe. I call it the ‘Kevorkian Commission’ that will deliver the poison if in November, we don’t volunteer to do it ourselves.

“We Democrats in the House were not at the table, and we wind up on the menu.

“There are arguments that are valid and good for voting ‘aye.’ But I didn’t come to this place to forget the homeless, the hapless and the hungry.

“The most vulnerable in our society don’t watch their 401K plan, the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the futures market. Their future is getting through till tomorrow. They are more concerned about having a roof than they are the national debt ceiling. They need jobs, nutrition, education and encouragement. The time we’ve spent on this debate would indicate that we’ve bought into the trickledown theory.

“Here’s what I know: the people I came here to help need real help. Their lives and future are really endangered. What happens to us people with portfolios, and Wall Street watchers is scary, but conjecture.

“Sounds hokey, but I’m voting for what I came here to do.”