The U.S. House late today narrowly passed a debt-ceiling bill without a single Democratic vote, only to see the Senate quickly turn around and reject the Republican plan.
Colorado’s House delegation split along party lines, with the four Republicans voting in favor of the modified House Speaker John Boehner plan and all three Democrats rejecting it. The House vote was 218-210. The Senate rejected the bill 59-41.
Colorado’s senior congresswoman, Democrat Diana DeGette, issued the following statement on the Republican’s plan, which included a balanced budget amendment to the constitution in order to appease conservative GOP members, 22 of whom still voted against the bill:
“As we stand four days away from the first default in our nation’s history, the Republican bill passed today may raise the debt ceiling for the near future, but it is an imbalanced approach to deficit reduction that disproportionately punishes the most vulnerable Americans, and, with its untenable balanced budget amendment timeline, sets the stage for likely default in six months. That timetable systematically continues the blanket of uncertainty this debate has placed over our economy, virtually ensuring a downgrade to the U.S. credit rating and an economic crisis for our nation.
“With the markets already reacting to the gridlock in Washington, it is time to pay our bills, avoid a default crisis that would send interest rates skyrocketing, and then focus on getting our fiscal house in order. We must reduce our deficit, pay down our debt, and ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare. These issues deserve balanced and thoughtful solutions; not to be held hostage to preserving the full faith and credit of the U.S.”
Colorado’s senior Republic congressman, Doug Lamborn, issued this statement after his yes vote:
“This is not a perfect plan, but it is a sincere, honest effort to fundamentally change the way Washington does business. It ensures that the federal government will meet all its financial obligations in the short term. Under this plan, every government payment would go out on time. But, down the road, it calls for additional spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment before Congress will raise the debt ceiling a second time.
“I would prefer deeper spending cuts. But I am glad for the possibility of putting more fiscal discipline for Congress into the Constitution. This is the only way we can control spending and make sure that the American dream survives for our children and grandchildren.
“This is the second time in 10 days that House Republicans have sent to the Senate a common-sense plan for restoring our nation’s fiscal strength. I urge our Senators to work with us in a bipartisan effort to solve our overspending problem.”