All five Iowa congressmen voted against the “debt deal” that cleared the U.S. House early this evening.
Democratic Congressmen Bruce Braley, Dave Loebsack and Leonard Boswell voted no, as did Republican Congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King. King says the spending cuts outlined in the bill were “far too small.” Latham says the deal does not guarantee “true long-term changes in how Washington” operates.
Braley called the bill a “symbol of everything that’s wrong in Washington.” Boswell said the deal was an “absolute disgrace.”
(Read the full written statements from the congressmen below.)
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the deal Tuesday and Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, will vote against it.
“I oppose this misbegotten, misguided deal that they have conjured up,” Harkin said in remarks on the Senate floor on Monday.
Harkin suggested the spending cuts outlined in the measure will make the economy worse, not better.
“The single-most important thing we can do is — I hate to say this — not ‘balance the budget,'” Harkin said. “The most important thing is to marshall the forces of the federal government to put people back to work.”
Iowa’s other U-S Senator — Republican Chuck Grassley — has not indicated how he’ll vote on the package.
Here are the statements issued by members of Iowa’s congressional delegation:
WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham issued the following statement Monday evening after voting against S. 365, the agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling by the largest hike in history:
“While no common-sense American wants our country to default on its obligations or have our credit downgraded, it is our responsibility to draw a line in the sand for fiscal sanity and responsibility and restore confidence in the American Dream.
“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. This debate is an opportunity to stop giving Washington permission in the form of a blank check to continue its irresponsible spending spree well beyond its means.
“This legislation does not do enough to control future spending, and it does not guarantee true long-term changes in how Washington spends taxpayer dollars. And, since it does not meet or exceed the criteria I set forth, I opposed and voted against this legislation.”
From Rep. Boswell:
“I have said from the beginning of this process that there must be shared sacrifice when it comes to reducing the deficit. We are all Americans, and we should all pitch in and pay our fair share. The deal brought forth today unfortunately continues to pass the buck on making the difficult and balanced decisions needed to restore some sense of fiscal sanity to Washington. The way the process is set up cannot guarantee a balanced approach moving forward, and continues to hold middle-class Americans hostage for the sake of preserving tax cuts for Big Oil and hedge fund managers that pay lower taxes than their secretaries. It also sets Medicare up for cuts in the future, which I cannot abide by. It is an absolute disgrace that it ever got to this point and proves to me that the Republican leadership was never serious about real compromise in the first place.”
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) released thefollowing statement after the vote on the debt ceiling:
“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. I’ve been demanding a balanced approach of shared sacrifice from both the President and the Speaker since the beginning of the year. I’ve listened to my constituents at multiple town halls. 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.”
Washington D.C.- Congressman Steve King (R-IA) released the following statement after voting against legislation considered by the House this afternoon that provides for an increase in the nation’s debt limit. The legislation, S. 365, represents the terms of a deal negotiated between Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and President Barack Obama (D-IL) to increase the nation’s debt limit.
“Because S.365 represents a retreat from fiscal discipline and from the Balanced Budget Amendment, I voted against it,” said King. “S.365’s proposed spending cuts are far too small, and the fact that they are far into the future calls into question whether they will ever actually occur. 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.”
“As part of the final deal, S.365 also makes it more difficult for Congress to send a strong Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification. It waters down the strong and specific Balanced Budget Amendment language contained in the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ bill. 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.”