A phony crisis has been averted at a great cost.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted this evening to approve the debt ceiling “deal” endorsed by Barack Obama, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. The Senate is expected to follow suit tomorrow. There were two hundred and sixty-nine ayes; the nays numbered one hundred and sixty one.
Democrats were evenly divided — ninety-five supported the deal, and ninety-five voted against it. The Pacific Northwest’s delegation did not break along party lines.
Voting Aye: Democrats Inslee, Larsen, Dicks, Schrader, Wu; Republicans Reichert, McMorris-Rodgers, Hastings, Herrera Beutler, Simpson, Walden, Young.
Voting Nay: Democrats McDermott, Smith, Blumenauer, DeFazio; Republicans Rehberg, Labrador.
Opposition came mostly from progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans, who dislike the proposal for different reasons.
Not long before he voted, Representative Jim McDermott released a short statement on Facebook summarizing his opposition.
“I’ve heard from literally hundreds of you today urging a no vote on the debt deal,” McDermott wrote. “This was a manufactured crisis and the bill doesn’t help create jobs or help the middle class. We need to raise the debt ceiling, but we’re not doing it the right way. I want to reassure all of you that I intend to vote “nay” on the debt deal — a deal that meets the Tea Party’s interests, not America’s.”
We thank Representatives McDermott, Smith, Blumenauer, and DeFazio for saying no to this shameful, irresponsible legislation.
The debt ceiling deal should remove any doubt of the power corporate interests have over our government. That deal, hammered out by the president and Republican Congressional leaders, places the burden of reducing our long-term budget problems on average Americans, while the wealthiest individuals and corporations are given a free pass.
Americans are willing to bear their share of the burden of addressing our nation’s long-term budget problems, but those sacrifices should be shared by all.
The U.S. Senate will supposedly be voting on the debt ceiling deal tomorrow at 9 AM Pacific. Then, senators will start heading out of town, because their vacation time is apparently more important than problems like the crisis at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which our own Senator Cantwell has been trying to call attention to. That will thus go unresolved for at least another month.