WASHINGTON--Illinois lawmakers were divided on the debt ceiling bill, with members on the left and right voting against the compromise agreement.
The Illinois roll call:
Jerry Costello, Danny Davis, Luis Gutierrez, Dan Lipinski, Mike Quigley and Bobby Rush
Judy Biggert, Bob Dold, Adam Kinzinger, Don Manzullo, Peter Roskam, Bobby Schilling, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus
Jesse Jackson, Jr., Jan Schakowsky
Randy Hultgren, Tim Johnson, Joe Walsh
STATEMENTS FROM ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ON DEBT CEILING VOTE
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 1, 2011) --Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,) a member of the bipartisan President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, released the following statement on today's vote in the House of Representatives:
"For weeks Republicans in Congress, led by radical Tea Party members, have held hostage the full faith and credit of the United States, refusing to pay America's bills until they could force huge spending cuts.
"Their mission has been to eviscerate everything from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. Republicans intentionally created a crisis in order to get their way.
"This is the wrong medicine for a sick economy. This bill could increase unemployment, slow economic growth and deepen already historic income inequality.
"Though I have voted to raise the debt ceiling in the past, I cannot in good conscience support this deal which requires $1 trillion in spending cuts that make the middle-class, the poor and seniors sacrifice while millionaires and billionaires are not asked to pay a single penny for deficit reduction.
"It is clear where my district stands. Hundreds of constituents called my office today -- 20 to 1 opposed to this bill.
"Looking ahead, Congress must focus on the immediate crises: a disappearing American dream crisis, a jobs crisis, a foreclosure crisis, and an income inequality crisis.
"The fight is not over after this vote. I will work to make sure that job creation is our number one priority, that the wealthiest Americans pay their share and that our seniors are protected from harmful benefit cuts."
REP. JUDY BIGGERT (R)
Washington, DC - U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13th) today issued the following statement after the House approved a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement that will cut spending and avert a default:
"It's been a long, tough negotiation, but the end result is a solid compromise that will help put this economy on a stronger path. It will give Americans the peace of mind they deserve by preventing a default, cutting spending, and holding Congress and the President accountable for spending decisions down the road. Most importantly, it doesn't raise taxes or give the President a blank check.
"It's not perfect, but this deal will be part of the solution -- not part of the problem. By placing real controls on the debt, we can restore confidence in the economy and generate job growth. That has to be our number one priority, and I appreciate that a majority of my colleagues were willing to do what's right for the American people and for the economy."
REP. PETER ROSKAM (R)
"All along Republicans have said that any debt limit increase must be
accompanied by a greater number of cuts. This bill is far from perfect, but it
fundamentally changes the direction of spending in Washington, makes cuts larger
than the debt limit increase, ensures a Balanced Budget Amendment vote, and
saves our country from default."
REP. RANDY HULTGREN (R)
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (IL-14) released the following statement after voting against the Budget Control Act.
"Tonight, I voted against a flawed bill that doesn't go far enough," said Hultgren. "I've been clear from the very beginning I would not support any effort to increase our nation's debt ceiling if the proposal does not hold true to the values of Cut, Cap, and Balance, as well as enact serious structural changes.
It is my opinion that the proposal approved by the House tonight falls short of what we need to do to put our country back on the right track. By failing to require Congress to approve a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) prior to any further increases in the debt ceiling, this bill does not provide the structural changes that I stated were necessary to earn my support.
"When leadership changed the bill on Thursday night to strengthen the BBA provision, that change earned my support; in failing to keep that strong language, I could not, in good conscience, support this bill."
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R)
Washington, D.C. - Today Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-11) issued the following statement in support of the revised Budget Control Act. The measure passed the House by a vote of 269 to 161.
"Over the course of seven months, House Republicans have changed the conversation in Washington from where to spend, to where to cut and how much. This legislation reverses the failed trajectory of our country.
"The bipartisan approach forces Washington to maintain a strong focus on cutting spending and includes much of the same framework as the House-passed bill. It cuts more spending than the increase in the debt limit and it does not raise any taxes.
I share many of the same concerns as our senior military commanders who have expressed apprehension over the possibility of deep cuts to our national defense. In order to preserve the security of our country, it is imperative that there are members with a formidable national security background included on the the joint committee. Our Department of Defense cannot tolerate additional significant cuts.
"This legislation is a realistic approach and another step in putting our nation on the path towards fiscal responsibility. No one walked away from the debt limit plan with everything they wanted. However, in order to protect the full faith and credit of our country, Washington must act on behalf of the American people, not on according to partisan politics.
"Ultimately, failure to increase the debt ceiling or raising taxes on job creators would create an economic catastrophe, hampering investments and placing far greater difficulty on nearly one in ten of our neighbors throughout Illinois who are struggling to find a job. Defaulting on our debt or raising taxes in a downward economy are simply not options. This legislation prevents a national default which otherwise threatens our financial growth as well as the national security of our country."
REP. DAN LIPINSKI (D)
Lipinski Votes for Compromise Plan to Cut the Deficit and Avoid a Government Default
Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) voted for the Budget Control Act, S. 365, a compromise agreement to cut the deficit and avoid a government default that would have damaged the fragile economy and hampered job creation.
"For months I have said that both parties need to come together to do what is right for America - avoid a devastating default while reducing the deficit in a way that preserves essential investments for the middle class," Congressman Lipinski said. "Yesterday, with just 48 hours to spare before a default, a compromise was finally achieved. As with any compromise, this one is by no means perfect. My preference would have been for a bipartisan 'grand bargain' that paired spending cuts with the elimination of unjustifiable special-interest tax breaks and loopholes. Sadly, negotiations between President Obama and Speaker Boehner broke down before such an agreement could be reached.
"Like many Americans, I was deeply frustrated by the posturing that occurred on both sides of the aisle and repeatedly derailed negotiations until the very last minute. If not for the continuing efforts to score political points, I believe we could have reached an agreement sooner, achieved a better outcome, and spent the past months focused on jobs rather than the debt ceiling.
"Nevertheless, this bill does provide us with a step forward in putting our fiscal house in order. In May I voted against increasing the debt ceiling without significant deficit reduction. The bill I am voting for today will cap spending, cut the deficit by $917 billion over 10 years, and establish a mechanism for increasing the debt ceiling through 2012, thereby avoiding another impasse that destabilizes the economy and hurts struggling middle-class Americans. In addition, it establishes a bipartisan, bicameral committee to craft a bill cutting the deficit by an additional $1.5 trillion or more, with this bill coming directly to the floors of the House and Senate for a vote before the end of the year. If such a bill does not pass, at least $1.2 trillion in cuts to mandatory and discretionary spending will go into effect, thus guaranteeing that this bill cuts the deficit by at least $2.1 trillion in total. In addition, as a co-sponsor of legislation to amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget, I am pleased that this bill will force Congress to vote on such an amendment, which - if passed - would then be sent to the states for ratification, giving the American people a chance to make the final decision.
"In casting my vote, I bore in mind that 14 million Americans are unemployed and job creation has slowed to a trickle. Given the fragile state of the economy, it would have been deeply irresponsible to either permit a government default or fail to address our overwhelming national debt, as each represents a grave threat to economic growth.
"Today, our work is far from over, and more tough decisions await us - decisions that will once again require the two parties to cooperate for the good of our nation. It is one thing to avoid a catastrophe, and another thing to take positive steps to ignite sustained job growth. Going forward, both parties must set aside their differences and work together as Americans to promote economic growth and job creation. Recently, I issued a five-point plan to help put Americans back to work. I am hopeful that once this crisis is over, we can move on to implementing some of the proposals in my plan. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get Americans back to work."
REP. DON MANZULLO (R)
[WASHINGTON] Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Egan) tonight voted for bipartisan legislation to end our immediate debt crisis while cutting spending significantly enough to maintain America's strong AAA credit rating necessary for a strong and healthy economy.
The legislation cuts spending more than it increases the debt ceiling and does not increase taxes. It also requires the House and Senate to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment by the end of the year. The legislation is supported by Citizens Against Government Waste, Americans for Tax Reform, National Federation of Independent Business, National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many other groups.
"This bill is far from perfect. I think we could have cut spending much more deeply. But it does go far enough to preserve our strong AAA credit rating, and that's vital to our efforts to strengthen our economy and help put Americans back to work. While this ends our immediate debt crisis, we must continue our mission to control spending to ensure America's long-term economic security. The bottom line is our government borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends, and that is not sustainable. In these difficult times, Americans have had to tighten their belts and learn to do more with less. Washington must follow their lead."
REP. JESSE JACKSON JR. (D)
"BIG DEAL" IS FOUNDATION FOR "LONG-TERM AUSTERITY, PAIN AND SUFFERING"
Why I Voted "No" On The Budget Deal
Statement By Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
The result of the "Big Deal" that House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell negotiated will
result in long-term austerity, pain and suffering for many Americans. Welcome
to Austere America! The era of austerity has begun!
Democrats were faced with two draconian choices: (1) vote "against" the package
and the result would be a job killing default according to House Speaker
Boehner; or (2) vote "for" the package and, from my perspective, the result will
be a job killing austerity.
The budget negotiators absolutely concluded a "Big Deal." It's a "game
changer." The United States is about to become the austere Japan of the 1990s
and the austere Great Britain of 2011. Budget deficits and debt will go up -
not down. Unemployment will go up - not down. Suffering by the American people
will go up - not down. Economic growth will remain stagnant or slow at best and
will not address the need for jobs for the unemployed. In short, I predict the
result of this agreement will be the opposite of the current spin.
While all Democrats agree that reducing the deficits and taming the debt is
something that must be dealt with in the future, the immediate issue is not
"deficit reductions" but "job reductions" (i.e., creating enough jobs for 17
million unemployed Americans). Reducing federal spending in a weak economy is
the exact opposite of what is needed now!
Republicans and conservative Democrats preposterously argue "tax and budget cuts
will equal more jobs and more tax revenues" - the "Laugher" Curve. The biggest
tax cuts in history in 2001 and 2003 resulted in the loss of 600,000 private
jobs over eight years. To stimulate the economy, the Congress passed and the
President signed a $757 billion stimulus package that kept us out of another
Great Depression, but it was unable to rescue unemployed workers from the
current Great Recession. The Republican argument reminds me of the man whose
house caught on fire and when he couldn't put it out with a garden hose he
concluded, "Water doesn't put out fire." Water does put out fire, but you have
to have enough of it to fit the size of the fire, and you have to put it in the
Some argue - because of the possibility of default - the President and Democrats
had no alternative. I disagree. First, even the threat of using Section 4 of
the 14th Amendment by the President (which he took off the table) would have
strengthened his negotiating hand. Second, he could have fought for an
alternative strategy of invest, grow and build which would have put Democrats on
our turf and on the offense instead of on the Republicans turf and on the
defense - and such a plan would create jobs, reduce deficits and debt.
most vulnerable Americans will again suffer the most under this agreement.
This is a very bad and sad day for America!
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D)
(Washington, DC) - 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 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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