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.

In the words of for­mer Sen­a­tor Russ Fein­gold:

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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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One reply on “U.S. House approves debt ceiling “deal””

  1. I won­der… why every­one is con­cerned with this rather than unem­ploy­ment? Who cares about the debt — if we don’t get jobs for work­ing peo­ple, anar­chy will happen.

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