WASHINGTON--Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) will vote for the debt deal, even though he very much dislikes the compromise and thinks it may hurt the people in his district. On the other hand, Gutierrez concluded, a financial default is not worth the risk.
MY RUNNING TALLY ON ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS VOTE IS HERE.
In announcing his decision, Gutierrez cites a conversation we had last Friday, which I wrote about in a column:
Today, announcing his intention to vote for the debt ceiling compromise when it comes before the House, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL-4) recalled a conversation he had Friday with Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief of the Chicago Sun-Times (which she quoted from in her Sun-Times blog on Saturday). Gutierrez told Sweet that the difference between his rabid reform mentality as a freshman in the House in 1993 and the attitude of House Freshman Tea Partiers today is that "I came to change the institution; I didn't come to burn it down." Today, Congressman Gutierrez released the following statement on why he intends to vote for the debt ceiling compromise.
The Tea Partiers and the GOP have made their slash and burn lunacy clear, and while I do not love this compromise, my vote is a hose to stop the burning. The arsonists must be stopped.
The damage this bill will do to the people of the Fourth District, Chicago, and the country is real and lasting but pales in comparison to the damage the GOP was willing to do to the American and world economies to make a political point. It isn't worth the risk.
We have a choice - compromise or chaos, and I'm choosing compromise. I will vote for the bill and hope we can close this distasteful chapter in American politics. I urge every reasonable legislator in this House to choose an imperfect compromise over a perfect catastrophe. This manufactured crisis that has cost billions already and could have cost the country many trillions more. Compromise in the face of a lunatic's demands is an act of sanity. Let's move on.
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