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Rep. Westmoreland votes against debt ceiling increase

A majority of House Republicans may have voted for the recent U.S. debt ceiling increase, but Third District U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland was not among them.

The final bill failed to provide enough cuts to the deficit and left open the possibility of future tax increases, the Grantville, Ga., congressman said in a news release.

Westmoreland’s statement follows:

“When these negotiations began in January, I made a promise that I would not vote for any legislation that didn’t include significant spending cuts and absolutely no tax increases.

“Unfortunately, the final plan did not include significant enough cuts and left open the possibility for tax increases through this bipartisan commission.

“In addition, it does not require a balanced budget amendment be sent to the states for ratification. Without that constitutional restraint placed on this Congress and future Congresses, we can never guarantee real spending reforms will happen.

“House Republicans also made a promise to the American people that we would bring back an open process here in Congress. Up until now, we have stuck with that promise. We’ve posted legislation on the internet and given the American people and Members of Congress 72 hours to review it. We’ve brought back open rules on appropriations bills, allowing Republican and Democrat members alike to offer amendments.

“But now, after this deal was crafted behind closed doors with only a few members of leadership at the table, we were given less than 12 hours to read and review this extremely important legislation. More time is needed to make an informed decision about legislation of this size and scope.

“Unfortunately, once again, Congress has waited until the last minute to act, pushing us up against this artificial Aug. 2 deadline and forcing a decision on a bill it seems no one actually likes.

“I and other Republicans in the House stuck by our leadership in the hopes we could keep Cut, Cap and Balance alive and negotiate a deal we could support. And while I know they worked hard to get the best deal possible, at the end of the day, it’s just not a deal I can support.

“I commend their efforts though. If you will recall, up until a few months ago, President Obama was still calling for a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase and last night was still pushing for immediate tax increases on job creators. So we came a long way during these negotiations. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats and the White House stalled any attempt at real spending reform, resulting in this unpopular deal,” stated Westmoreland.

In the press release, Westmoreland detailed what the bill contains:

“After months of debate, tonight the House of Representatives passed S.365, the Budget Control Act of 2011, to raise the debt ceiling and enact some spending reforms.

“Specifically, it would reduce deficits by $917 billion over ten years by capping spending levels and in return raise the debt ceiling $900 billion.

“In addition, it requires a vote on a balanced budget amendment in both the House and the Senate after Oct. 2, 2011 but before the end of the year.

“It then establishes a commission tasked with finding an additional $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in spending cuts by November 23, 2011.

“A second debt ceiling increase of $1.5 trillion would be permitted at the beginning of next year if the balanced budget amendment is sent to the states for ratification, or if the commission proposal includes cuts equal to or greater than $1.5 trillion and those cuts are passed into law.

“If neither happens, a $1.2 trillion debt limit increase would be attached to across the board spending cuts that would equal the difference between $1.2 trillion and the cuts enacted by the commission’s proposal.

“Congressman Westmoreland did not support the legislation.”



mbest's picture

credit rating. A smart man doesn't try to win the entire war with one battle. Your "last stand" chest beating caused more economic damage than you could ever fix later. Major economic reform requires long term negotiations not a desperate last minute stand off which creates only destructive results. Once again your arrogance has hurt the rest of us, but I guess it did get your picture in the paper. You shot us all in the foot with your shallow grandstanding rather than searching for a workable solution.

NUK_1's picture

The bill he voted against was known well in advance as being far short of the 4trillion necessary to keep the US credit rating from being downgraded. S&P and Moody's had both made public warnings on this months ago.So...others vote and approve it, and S&P promptly downgrades the credit rating.

I don't see where Westmoreland did anything at all to contribute to the stupidity in DC this time around. If he voted in favor of the bill, then one could maybe claim that he played a part in screwing up something.

The drastic actions over the debt ceiling were 100% necessary to wake up the politicians and the WH that it's way past time to get serious over the debt and deficit spending. Rather than talk talk talk about it and do the exact opposite as has been done for decades and watch the deficit go over 14.5 trillion dollars, some are actually showing they are serious about stopping the insanity. Drastic times call for drastic actions. No more kicking the can down the road endlessly, though the 2.4 trillion bill that eventually passed is barely a start.

Gort's picture

NUK_1, remember that old Mel Brooks movie, “Blazing Saddles?” When young Sheriff Bart rode into the town of Rock Ridge for the first time, do you remember how he was treated by the towns welcoming committee?

Well, Rep. Westmoreland belongs to the political party that has behaved toward President Obama in the exact same way since he took office.

The ink wasn’t even dry on this half-baked bill and the GOP was already publicly discussing how to scuttle the next round of negotiations.

Read the news and you tell me if this political posture has been good or bad thing for the wealth of the country.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Yeah, the old fellow on the roof watching the new sheriff ride in said: "He's a N......"

(Wasn't that Burt Reynolds on the roof?)

Gort's picture

Rounda, Burt did the longest yard in 1974. Gabby Johnson was played by Jack Starrett, dab nabbit!

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

You are correct.

My feeble mind remembered that Burt often mimmicked Gabby Hayes as a joke.

yaya's picture

The national tea party strategy was to force the issue to either default or a downgraded credit rating. They rationalize that America will blame the Obama administration and Democrats. Smarter Americans are behind the current backlash against these self-destrucive extremists.

Concerned American

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