Iowa congressional delegation unimpressed with debt deal
Iowa’s federal lawmakers are speaking out about the debt ceiling deal, which was passed by Congress Monday night.
The deal will raise the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion while cutting federal spending by at least $2.4 trillion. Both sides of the aisle have characterized the deal as imperfect – Republicans argued they wanted deeper spending cuts; Democrats said the bill didn’t do enough to raise taxes — but leaders remained optimistic about its passage, considering the circumstances and deadlines.
Though remaining largely mum in the hours leading up to the votes, Iowa’s congressional representation on both sides of the aisle came out swinging against the Budget Control Act, filed as S. 365.
Ames Republican Tom Latham voted the bill down, blasting the legislation that “does not guarantee true long-term changes in how Washington spends taxpayer dollars.”
“I have been very clear in our debate about spending that I will only support measures that meet the realistic approach of immediately cutting wasteful spending, imposing spending caps as a percentage of our economy going forward, and requiring a balanced budget amendment,” Latham said in a statement following the vote. “And, since it does not meet or exceed the criteria I set forth, I opposed and voted against this legislation.”
Fellow Republican Steve King, of Kiron, also voted the bill down.
“The bill increases the nation’s debt burden, while placing the responsibility of dealing with Washington’s addiction to debt and deficit spending on yet another commission, and on future Congresses and future Presidents,” King said Monday night through his spokesman. “This debt limit deal forfeits the mandate that House Republicans received last November to ‘hold the line’ on the nation’s debt and spending, and I could not support it.”
Their Democrat counterparts in Congress and Senate shared bitter sentiments about the legislation, as well, though for different reasons.
“The simple truth is, today’s vote is a symbol of everything that’s wrong in Washington: partisan brinksmanship, broken promises, backroom deal making, and kicking the can down the road. Enough is enough,” U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, said through his spokeswoman. “Iowans know that when times are tough, families don’t just tighten their belts, they also take on extra jobs to increase their income. Today’s vote squarely places the burden of deficit reduction on middle class families, while demanding nothing of millionaires, billionaires and corporations making record profits. My constituents don’t agree with that, and neither can I.”
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/dave_loebsack_125.jpgDave Loebsack
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, a Mount Vernon Democrat, was “thankful a crisis has been averted, but the solution is almost as flawed as the leadership that has been on display. This legislation creates a system that protects special interests, hedge fund managers and Wall Street executives at the expense of the middle class, seniors and the most vulnerable. The last few weeks have been a classic example of Washington choosing politics over people and it is why I could not support it.”
Longtime Congressman Leonard Boswell, a Des Moines Democrat, also gave a thumbs down, admonishing big business tax cuts.
Finally, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) gave indicative warning how he could cast the final vote, which is scheduled for Tuesday in the U.S. Senate.
“I oppose this misbegotten, misguided deal to raise the debt ceiling,” Harkin said in prepared remarks to deliver on the Senate Floor. “Since the 1930s, Congress has routinely raised the debt ceiling 89 times, including seven times during the presidency of George W. Bush, and 18 times under President [Ronald] Reagan. But not this time. This time, Congressional Republicans are holding the economy hostage, threatening to default on our national debt and plunge America back into recession unless their demands are met. Let’s be clear, this is not a negotiating tactic, it is blackmail.”