Archive for Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kansas congressional delegation split on debt ceiling bill

August 2, 2011


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Members of the Kansas congressional delegation are unified in party -- Republican -- but they were divided on the bill aimed at avoiding a first-ever U.S. government default.

In the Senate, Pat Roberts voted for the measure, signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama, and Jerry Moran voted against it.

In the House, Lynn Jenkins of Topeka and Mike Pompeo of Wichita voted for it and Kevin Yoder of Overland Park and Tim Huelskamp of Fowler voted against it. Jenkins’ 2nd District includes western Lawrence, and Yoder’s 3rd includes eastern Lawrence.

Roberts articulated the thoughts of many in Congress who voted for the bill -- they didn’t like it but believed it was necessary to avoid an economic nightmare. The Senate approved it, 74-26, with 46 Democrats and 28 Republicans in support.

“My first priority in voting today was to ensure our country did not default, which could have sent our country into economic chaos at a time when our economy is already on the brink,” Roberts said. “I will never play roulette with Kansans’ life savings,” he said.

Roberts added the measure was only a stopgap. “The battle to control spending is far from over. I view this debt ceiling debate as the opening salvo in an on-going effort to tighten the government's fiscal belt,” he said.

But Moran had a different take. “The truth is this plan does not offer a solution to the underlying problem of our crisis today: Our government’s out of control spending. Even if fully enacted, it only slows the growth of spending, and just barely,” he said.

The measure increased the federal government’s borrowing limit, and set into motion a potential cut of $2 trillion in spending.

Huelskamp agreed with Moran in opposing the bill, adding that he was also against giving a 12-member, bi-partisan committee the task of proposing $1.5 trillion in cuts later this year.

“I believe conservatives should make good on their promises to cut trillions in spending, enact structural reforms, and fill the role of elected representatives, rather than hand control to an exclusive committee,” Huelskamp said.

It was approved in the House 269-161 with 175 Republicans and 95 Democrats voting for the bill.

Jenkins said while the bill wasn’t perfect, it was necessary and provided a good first step.

“We have passed a bill that avoids default, cuts nearly a trillion dollars from our bloated federal budget, lays out a plan to cut trillions more, requires an up-or-down vote on a balanced budget amendment, and all without increasing a single American’s taxes,” Jenkins said.

But her congressional neighbor, Yoder, said he couldn’t vote for it. “Although I commend our leaders for working out a temporary solution against choppy political waters, I could not join in an effort that did not solve the problems that got us into this spot in the first place. To borrow a phrase, I was not persuaded by the logic that Congress would gladly pay Tuesday for a hamburger today.”


kansanjayhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm very disappointed in Jenkins for voting for a measure that clearly does not solve and will not solve these problems this vote will not bode well for her in the next election. Many conservatives want legislators who are willing to deal with the tough issues including entitlements and bloated government this bill does nothing to solve those problems.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 10 months ago

With the stimulus and the bank bailouts and the auto industry bailouts and with this debt limit crisis we've been told we're staring into the abyss and that immediate action is needed to avery an imminent catastrophe. The abyss is looking better and better.

mkhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

People thinking like this are the problem

jhawkinsf 6 years, 10 months ago

What I'm suggesting is that perhaps there is no abyss. Or perhaps the abyss is not as bad as we imagine. After all, who's telling us about this abyss? Politicians. They wouldn't lie to us, now would they?

BigAl 6 years, 9 months ago

I hate the continued bashing of Bush but plynth is missing reality. Bush DID inherit a balanced economy and a country at peace. He left deep debts, a very unstable economy and TWO unpaid for wars. Those are simple facts. I am not saying that Obama is doing any better but the fact is, Obama did inherit a mess and a spiralling down economy.

TheStonesSuck 6 years, 9 months ago

George W. Bush was undoubtedly a sad, shell of a man, a corporate shill, and an awful President. That being said, those of us who voted Obama, received (as of now), 4 more years of Bush.

jas9510 6 years, 9 months ago

For a blog site that is based in Lawrence, KS, I anticipated that the comments would have a foundation that is influenced by a better understanding of economics and global affairs.

The actions by our Congress are unforgivable. To paraphrase Senator Coburn, "the politicians won, and the public lost. "

He is correct. Our legislative branch has provided the best support that anyone could provide to China to remove the US as the Reserve Currency. They have also highlighted our inability to effect any change. Anyone who supports this recent fiasco in our political system, needs to take time to understand the benefit of the Reserve Currency.

To exist in the US, we require a policy of compromise that should push us forward. Our partisan, no compromise system is in gridlock.

We have now focused global attention on the dysfunction in our Congress. Why is Obama failing? Because we have members of our Congress who are focused on making his tenure a "one term tenure". Our representatives in Congress are playing politics. They all, including the "enlightened" members of the "Tea Party", want to get reelected.

The role of Congress is to create a foundation so that we, the electorate, can create businesses that make money. That does not mean that we need zero taxes and zero regulation. We need a stable, consistent approach in our policies.

We have a problem with deficits. That problem started with the Bush tax cuts. It was exacerbated by the laissez faire approach to governance. For every business venture that I have entered, I have had one common guiding principle: you cannot save yourself into prosperity. Managing costs is a necessary part of any endeavor. Growing revenue is the only path to solvency. Revenue growth requires that we create opportunities for new businesses. Small businesses are not the engine for growth. New businesses are the engine for growth. Small businesses tend to stay small. Businesses have cash. They are not investing their cash in the US because they do not believe that the demand for their goods and services exists. They are correct. WIthout stable employment at fair levels of compensation, the engine of our growth, which is consumer, "nondurable" spending, will not occur.

Do not congratulate the irresponsibility of Congressional members or uninformed members of the electorate who led us to the brink of insolvency. They have begun a process that, without significant effort in the immediate term, will continue to undermine the future of our country.

We need more politicians who have an ideology, but recognize that effective governance requires progress and progress requires measured compromise.

We need cost cuts and we need revenue enhancements to grow our economy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 9 months ago

Good points.

It's interesting that not one of our esteemed congressional delegation can acknowledge that the current deficits have three primary causes. They are 1) the Bush tax cuts 2) the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 3) the collapse of the economy caused by the policies Wall Street bought under both the Clinton and Bush administrations to allow them to do whatever they want, and what they mostly wanted was to operate completely corruptly with complete impunity.

And we still have all of those primary causes in place, and none of them were even remotely addressed in the latest "compromise." What do they call doing the same old thing and expecting a different result?

matchbox81 6 years, 9 months ago

Both the current senate and congress seem to write legislation/budgets in an idealogical vacuum. We need more engagement on both sides, to stop this stupid cycle of legislation that is predictibly voted up or down based solely on party lines, and can only pass one house congress. Marching orders should not be written and distributed from the DNC or the RNC. The Ryan budget slashed and burned medicare. Democrats are deathly afraid of entitement reform because if they give an inch, republicans would take a foot. We need politicians that realize that medicare can be modifed in ways that protect recepients while still lowering costs. This legislation, however, cannot be written on only one side of the aisel.

Harry Tuttle 6 years, 9 months ago

I expected to be lied to by bankster puppets. I welcome all the time I can get to prepare, and I hope others are doing the same. Focus on preparations for the future, not the day to day doom surrounding us.

Time to load up on gold, beans, and bullets because the fore gone conclusion is that Washington=Wall Street and Wall Street=Washington.

This debt ceiling issue was an absolute farce, Kubuki Theater. Like watching a pack of 'Jackels' fight over dry bones.

The country or state has NO moral, nor honest center. Leaders? Where? Certainly not in DC nor in Kansas!

Traitors is the only word I can find for these so called representatives and defenders of the Constitution. The Constitution is dead, long live the Constitution.

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