House passes budget compromise; Goodlatte, Hurt vote no
The House voted 285-144 late Wednesday to pass the Senate budget compromise. President Barack Obama signaled that he would sign the legislation, which also includes an increase in the federal debt ceiling.
Two local House Republicans, Bob Goodlatte, R-Sixth, and Robert Hurt, R-Fifth, voted with a majority of the House GOP caucus against the legislation that will reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7.
Goodlatte’s chief objection: “The Senate’s plan raises the debt limit and merely delays discussion on debt and spending for a short time and does little to address the fundamental fiscal challenges facing our nation. The fact of the matter is that unrestrained government spending and unsustainable entitlement programs that make up nearly 70 percent of our spending remain untouched by this measure. After years of debate it is time to take action,” the 20-year incumbent said.
“Unfortunately, the Senate’s unwillingness to negotiate resulted in a measure that does not provide the reforms required to address the nearly $17 trillion national debt and the massive new entitlement program in the form of Obamacare. Getting spending under control and reducing our debt remain my highest priorities, and this bill did not meet those goals. That is why I could not vote in support of this proposal,” Goodlatte said.
Hurt, in his third term representing the Fifth District, said he “unable to support the Senate spending and debt limit legislation because it failed to impose even the most modest spending reform.”
“I am disappointed that the Senate’s complete refusal to negotiate with the House has resulted in leaving the voices of Fifth District Virginians without a seat or a say at the conference room table. Under our Constitution, it is the obligation of both the House and the Senate to participate in the legislative decision-making that relates to our nation’s spending and our national debt. Sadly, however, prior to the introduction of the House’s first spending proposal back on September 20, 2013, the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated loudly and clearly that there would be absolutely no negotiation with the House on any spending or debt limit legislation,” Hurt said.
“And now, 26 days later, the President and the Senate have succeeded in defeating every single House proposal for reform and defeating every single House effort to reopen the federal government during recent weeks. Indeed, they have gotten exactly what they wanted – a continuation of a spending and borrowing policy that has resulted in a $17 trillion national debt – a debt that amounts to $123,000 for every working American,” Hurt said.
The compromise measure had earlier passed the Senate by an 81-18 vote. All 18 voting nay are Republicans. In the House, 198 Democrats joined 87 Republicans in voting in favor of the legislation.