By a vote of 269-161 Monday, the House passed the Budget Control Act in an effort to avert the impending federal cash flow crisis. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate where debate has already begun in advance of a noon Tuesday vote requiring 60 votes for passage and to move the measure to the President’s desk for an enacting signature.
Among Washington State’s House delegation, only Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott from the 7th District of Seattle and Adam Smith from the 9th District voted against the bill, splitting ranks with Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash. 1st) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash. 6th). All of the state’s Republicans voted in favor of the measure.
According to sources, the deal passed by the House
As reported by Seattlepi.com, Democratic candidate for governor and 1st District Rep. Jay Inslee’s explanation for his yes vote may have some wondering why he cast the vote he did.
“Tonight I voted to avert an economic disaster,” Inslee said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this is a terrible and unbalanced proposal that doesn’t meet the expectation that American people have for solutions to our debt crisis.
Republicans were clearer-headed about their reasons for passing the bill along to the upper chamber.
“At this time last year, Congress was approving historic spending increases and record deficits. Now, with today’s deal, Congress is passing historic spending cuts and record cuts to the national debt,” 5th District Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, said in a statement released shortly after the vote.
Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash. 8th) called Monday’s vote “a necessary step toward getting the nation’s fiscal house in order.”
“This debt deal is not perfect but this compromise, which passed today with my support, begins to restore fiscal sanity by cutting spending by a larger amount than the debt limit is increased and capping future spending to limit the growth of government; avoiding the consequences of a default without raising taxes or cutting seniors’ benefits,” said Reichert in an official statement.
Reichert also reinforced the Republican call for a balanced budget amendment.
“I am encouraged by the fact that this compromise will provide an incentive for the Administration to rally support for a balanced budget amendment, which I feel is essential to ensuring long-term fiscal accountability.” Reichert said.
The rules of the U.S. Senate are engineered for deliberation, however, and high-ranking Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has already indicated that he will not support a bill that he says will create a 12-person appointed committee with unprecedented authority over government spending.
“We’re getting pretty far away from the traditions of this body when you don’t publicly debate a budget, you create a committee of limited numbers of people to produce legislation that can’t be amended,” Sessions said in a speech made from the Senate floor Monday night.
Sessions has been a lone voice of caution for weeks, warning that an eleventh-hour debt deal could contain unknown complications on which legislators would not have the proper time to consider. In late June, Sessions asked his colleagues to cancel their recess in order to tackle a debt ceiling fix in time to allow for full deliberation and transparency: