Democratic Congressman: Debt Limit Vote ‘Not Symbolic’ and ‘Not About the Future’

By Nicholas Ballasy | July 21, 2011 | 3:19 PM EDT

( – Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told an audience at a retirement community that a vote to increase the debt limit is “not symbolic” and “not about the future.”

“Any one who wants to fool around with the debt or to argue, ‘I don’t believe it’s serious’ is reckless and I got to tell you, voting for the debt is not a symbolic vote,” said Connolly during a town hall held at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield, Virginia on Monday.

“Voting for the debt is not to say, ‘I approve of everything that we’re spending’ nor is it a commitment to future deficit spending – that debt ceiling is to make good on the obligations that we’ve already made. It’s not about the future. It’s about where we are and that’s why it’s a default if we don’t do it.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Connolly predicted that a deal to increase the debt limit will not be reached by August 2.

“I wish I could tell you I’m hopeful that we’re going to reach a bipartisan agreement any time soon. Congressman and Congress, we’re probably going to do it, if we do it, around midnight on August 2 but I’m not even hopeful of that and, you know, stay tuned but this a very serious moment for the United States of America,” he said.