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House passes debt bill; not all Hoosier representatives voted yea

The US House voted to raise the debt ceiling and have about $3 million in cuts. The vote ended at 269-161 with the Senate voting Today. Two of the local Representative voted against and one voted for. After the last failure to reach a resolution, the version that passed will cut spending by $2.1 trillion over the next ten years without increasing taxes. The debt ceiling will be raised by $2.1 trillion and hold the US Treasury through the 2012 elections.

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One of those to vote no was Representative Marlin Stutzman. Although he appreciated the coming together for the cause, he didn’t agree with the outcome. "For this type of debt ceiling discussion to be this long and this open has been a healthy dialogue, I believe, for all of us in America. So we're gonna move on to the next battle - which is the budget for next year - and hopefully we can continue to be successful in bringing more openness and transparency to Washington. I really wanted to see the balanced budget amendment be at the forefront. Some folks would argue that is it, but for me, we set up a lot of hoops to get to that conclusion of sending the balanced budget amendment to the states. Washington continues to operate in a way that doesn't make a lot of sense."

The other local to vote against the bill was Representative Dan Coats. He released this statement Monday after the vote. “Considering Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama control two-thirds of the government, I believe the Republican leadership in the House and Senate made meaningful strides in negotiations to cut spending without raising taxes on Americans. However, after reviewing the details of the Budget Control Act, I have decided that I cannot support its passage. Although this plan is a step in the right direction, I believe it falls significantly short of what is needed to address the severity of this financial crisis. For months, I have been saying that a credible plan must include at least $4 trillion in spending reductions over a decade and a commitment to restructure entitlement programs and the tax code. Unfortunately, the bill cuts as little as $2.1trillion over 10 years and fails to ensure action on reforming entitlement programs and the tax code. The legislation also puts national security at risk with potentially sizable budget cuts. I also believe this puts too much confidence in a special congressional committee to finish the work that Congress and the White House were unable to do. I hope this committee returns with more substantial cuts and real reforms, but frankly, I remain skeptical. Though I cannot support this bill, my sleeves are rolled up and I will continue to work to rein in government spending, reform the tax code to create jobs, and restructure entitlement programs to preserve these benefits for Americans. The chorus of Americans calling for fiscal restraint in Washington forced an unwilling president and reluctant congressional Democrats to at least acknowledge the government’s excessive spending and borrowing problem. This is important progress, but now it’s time for Congress to deliver real results.”

The one local Hoosier to vote for the bill was Mike Pence, the GOP frontrunner for Indiana Governor. He released this statement after the vote. "The debt ceiling compromise negotiated by the bipartisan leadership in Congress and the White House is a modest but meaningful first step in the direction of fiscal discipline and reform, and I will support it. The Budget Control Act is not so much a good deal as it is a good start on restoring fiscal discipline to our nation’s capital. This bipartisan agreement will make it possible to pay the nation's bills with no new taxes, dollar for dollar cuts in spending for every increase in the debt ceiling and by giving the American people a fighting chance to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Leadership means knowing when to say 'yes' and when to say 'no.' The time has come to get something done and move onto policies that will further advance our fiscal solvency and put Hoosiers back to work."

The most memorable moment of the day was the return of Rep. Giffords to the Chamber.


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