Republican Reaction: Swift, Strong, Diverse

Image: Republican Reaction: Swift, Strong, Diverse

Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 11:45 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Republican response was swift and varied Wednesday night to votes in the House and Senate to reopen the federal government and extend the nation's debt ceiling.

Here are some legislators' comments:

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio:

Urgent: Should the House Have Agreed to Debt Deal? Vote Here

"There’s no higher priority than strengthening our economy for middle-class families and small businesses. Our negotiating team will pursue real reforms that address the drivers of our debt, get control of spending, put us on a path to a balanced budget, and expand opportunity for all Americans.

"Americans young and old are struggling under the president’s policies — including his disaster of a healthcare law — and these negotiations are a big opportunity to start building a stronger economy and a brighter future."

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia:

"There’s nothing historic about this agreement. It is the response to a crisis manufactured by the president and a Democratic Party content with the nation’s fiscal ruin.

"Now that there's an agreement in place to talk about how we solve them is a good first step, but one has to wonder why the Democratic majority in Washington needed two weeks of a government shutdown and a run-up to the debt ceiling in order to agree to talk about doing their job."

Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee:

"Not only as a congressman, but as the father of an 11-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, I cannot, in good conscience, support an unconditional increase in the national debt ceiling without any plan or commitment to begin dealing with the debt today. Later no longer suffices."

Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee:

"While it's important to make sure our nation does not default on our debt, I cannot support the Senate proposal in its current form. House Republicans have fought to provide the same relief to hard-working Americans that the Obama administration has generously provided to unions and big business to negate the impact of Obamacare.

"Every American should be treated equally under the law. Unfortunately, that's not always the case in our nation’s capitol."

Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia:

"Unfortunately, the Senate-negotiated deal does nothing to stop Obamacare or to protect Americans from its massive new entitlements, which are estimated to cost taxpayers $48 billion in 2014 alone.

"Fixing Obamacare is not the solution, and anything less than a delay or full defund is a letdown for the American people."

Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania:

"I’ve been calling for the political brinksmanship to end, and I'm encouraged there is a measure that could get to the president’s desk; Washington cannot continue to operate in perpetual crisis mode.

Urgent: Should the House Have Agreed to Debt Deal? Vote Here

"While this bill only provides a temporary extension to get us back to the negotiating table, it was in the best interest of the country and puts us on track to address the larger budgetary issues, including the fundamental flaws of the president’s healthcare law."

Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas:

"While I am relieved the Senate proposal allows the country to pay its bills, keeps agreed-upon spending levels and requires people to verify their income when seeking subsidies under Obamacare, it did not go far enough in solving our financial crisis to win my support.

"I remain committed to making sure America doesn’t default on our debts, but believe we must cut up the credit card and find ways to grow our economy first. Instead of identifying long-term ways to decrease spending, the plan passed Wednesday night protects the status quo in Washington. That's what disappointed me about the proposal, and that's why I ultimately could not support it."

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa:

"This agreement raises the debt limit with no action on the debt. It’s a missed opportunity for forcing action to limit government and increase economic opportunities. America needs the president to roll up his sleeves and work with members of Congress to address the long-term fiscal problems of our country. Our grandkids depend on it."

Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma:

"Since President [Barack] Obama came into office, he has signed into law a costly 20,000-page healthcare law, authored a $787 billion stimulus, and raised the debt ceiling now six times. Because of his leadership, we have operated from one crisis to the next.

"It happened once again when he and [Senate] Majority Leader [Harry] Reid held Congress hostage with the debt ceiling in order to forge a deal that falls short of anything worthy of conservative support."

Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference:

"This isn’t a perfect proposal, but it will ensure that we don’t blow past the default date that’s been set by the Treasury, and it will force Congress to have a broad debate about Washington's dangerous levels of spending and debt, which are hamstringing the economy and mortgaging our children's futures.

"This debate should be an opportunity to focus on fiscal policies that will actually grow the economy and strengthen the middle class."

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina:

"It is time we move on from this episode, begin the reforms needed in our entitlement programs and the tax code, address the rampant waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending, and get back to creating an environment that allows for economic expansion and job creation."

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina:

"To say we as Republicans left a lot on the table would be one of the biggest understatements in American political history. We could have done much, much better. Unfortunately, given where we now find ourselves, this agreement was the best Sen. McConnell could do. By the time we got to this point, we were playing poker only holding a pair of twos.

"Today’s agreement is far from great news but brings to an end, at least temporarily, a disaster. It stops the bleeding and gives us a chance to regroup.

"I hope we learn from the past few weeks. The problems with Obamacare will now be out in the open once this agreement is passed into law — and the Republican Party still has an opportunity in 2014, because every Democrat owns this terrible idea called Obamacare."


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