Durbin on budget deal: “Cuts will be painful,” Now must deal with long term debt. StatementContinue reading.
Illinois congressional delegation reacts to bill
It didn’t take long after the final gavel was hammered that Illinois’ congressional delegation started releasing statements. Here’s where they stand:
Senator Mark Kirk
“Today Congress put country over party. I was proud to be a part of the bipartisan group led by Sens. Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, which laid the foundation for this agreement to reopen our government and protect America’s full faith and credit. As the debate moves forward in the coming weeks over spending and debt, it is my hope both parties will continue working together on a ‘big deal’ with spending cuts and reforms to entitlements and the tax code so that we can give our markets and the American people the stability they need and deserve.”
Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
“For the past 16 days my neighbors and all Americans needlessly suffered from a government shutdown and fear of a U.S. default on our national debt. Small businesses in my district had SBA loans and contracts with the government delayed. Federal employees who honorably serve our country went without paychecks and Veterans had many of their programs suspended. Tragically, even death benefits for family members of our fallen military heroes were put on hold. The American people deserve better.
“It was absolutely essential that Congress vote to reopen our government and raise the debt ceiling and I am relieved that we can move forward as a nation. Now, the real work of creating a budget that invests in our economy and reduces the national debt begins. We must invest in our nation’s transportation and infrastructure. We can pass immigration reform that is supported by the overwhelming majority of the American people. We can cut waste and fraud at the Pentagon and in Medicare to help reduce the deficit. I look forward to continuing to reach across the aisle and finding solutions to our nation’s challenges. There were no winners in this unnecessary fight, only more burdens placed on the American people. I am committed to working with everyone to get some wins for the hardworking people of the 8th Congressional District.”
Congressman John Shimkus (IL-15)
“In addition to the problems with Obamacare, I am deeply concerned about our nation’s long-term fiscal situation,” Shimkus noted. “I am very hopeful that the budget conference committee, which is part of the overall agreement, will be successful in addressing the mandatory spending issues we face.
“And as Senator McConnell said in his remarks…the spending restraints negotiated in the Budget Control Act remain in place, and we will have two years of reduced government spending for the first time since the Korean War.”
Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
“House Republicans fought to the brink to protect hardworking Americans from the higher premiums and reduced coverage that Obamacare is already forcing on them. However, surpassing our debt threshold would be incredibly damaging to our already weak economy and harm millions of Americans who are struggling just to make ends meet. Simply put, I am not willing to put the entire American economy at risk to dismantle a law that is already crumbling before our eyes.
“While I have expressed my reservations about certain strategic decisions in this fight, it is undeniable that House Republicans are committed to restoring fiscal sanity to Washington, including maintaining the reduced spending levels that we fought so hard for in 2011. Though Republicans and Democrats have very different ideas on how to get our economy up and running again, I am hopeful that future negotiations will be serious and constructive discussions about how to rein in spending and get millions of Americans back to work.”
Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11)
“While I am disappointed that extreme and irresponsible factions in Congress were able to force a costly and harmful government shutdown, I am very pleased that more rational and moderate Members of Congress were able to reach a bipartisan agreement to reopen our government and pay our bills. While today was a step in the right direction, our work is far from done.
“We cannot continue to govern from one manufactured crisis to the next. Now it is time for moderate Republicans and Democrats to come together and work out a long term budget agreement that builds on the economic recovery we’ve seen since the recession.
“As a businessman, I know the value of coming together to find common sense solutions. I hope that after this experience, Members of Congress will stop focusing on factional infighting and winning political battles, and start working to improve our communities, our economy and our country.”
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
“After 16 days of a Republican-led government shutdown and taking our country to within hours of an unprecedented default, the House voted tonight on a bipartisan bill to fund the government through January 15th and allow us to pay our bills through February 7th.
“While Republicans finally came around to accepting a bipartisan deal tonight, too many Americans and businesses suffered harm that could easily have been avoided. Over the past 16 days, I have stood at rallies with furloughed workers who have been harmed by the shutdown and prevented from doing their jobs. Paychecks have been missed or reduced, regional VA offices were closed and efforts to get disability benefits out were slowed down, access to early childhood education was lost, medical research and science grants were delayed, and once-in-a-lifetime visits to our national parks were cancelled. In addition, Standard and Poor’s estimates that the economy lost about $24 billion from the shutdown. I hope that we will be able to adopt responsible budget policies that invest in people and strengthen our nation and that we will be able to prevent another manufactured economic crisis in the future.
“Americans are tired of political warfare and instead want Congress to get back to work to create jobs, promote economic growth and strengthen the middle class. We need a return to responsible governance and I hope that the passage of this bill is a step toward that goal.”
Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10)
“Our government is reopened and we’ve avoided default, but the fact a small minority in Congress was able to push the country to the brink is truly disturbing,” Schneider said. “It is irresponsible and reckless that some in Washington continue putting ideology ahead of our economic recovery. We are facing important fiscal challenges, and our focus should be on finding common sense, long-term solutions, not on holding our economy hostage over narrow ideologies. This package is far from perfect, but it does move us beyond the current crisis and opens a path to constructively address our fiscal issues.”
Congresswoman Robin L. Kelly (IL-02)
It is about time that my colleagues in the House came together in a bi-partisan manner to end the government shutdown and avoid what would have been a catastrophic default on our nation’s debt obligations. This manufactured crisis, orchestrated by a reckless few in Congress, has shaken the American people’s faith in their leaders and caused the world to question the financial stability of our country.”
“While I am glad that the most imminent threat to our nation’s financial security is over, we have only bought ourselves a little time before Congress will have to once again debate a comprehensive spending plan for our country. And in doing so we must break this fruitless cycle of deadlines and doomsday scenarios that put our economy at risk. Congress cannot continue to try to lead from the brink of disaster. I hope that the lingering lessons of this episode encourage us to put partisan politics aside and devise a budget that is in the best interest of the American people.”
Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06)
“Tonight I voted to open the government, remove the threat of default and begin a process where both parties sit down and work on a long-term budget agreement that addresses our crushing debt and deficits. It is my hope that President Obama and Congressional Democrats join us in combating the almost $17 trillion debt that is holding back our economy and diminishing the future prosperity of our children and grandchildren.”
“I will continue to fight for fairness for all Americans under the president’s health care law, work to protect individuals from the worst parts of the law and seek solutions to create a patient-centered, cost effective healthcare system that does not put bureaucrats between individuals and their health care providers.”
Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL07)
I am pleased and relieved that the United States Congress has a vote scheduled on an agreement to end the shutdown of our government and raise the debt ceiling. I plan to vote yes on the agreement as I now understand it.
I am disappointed that the agreement to end the shutdown only extends into January of 2014 and the agreement to raise the debt ceiling only extends until February 2014. I am even more disappointed that the sequester will continue with no relief for those who have suffered its consequences.
There is no acknowledgment of the cost and harm resulting from this shutdown and the threat to our nation’s economy. If one were looking for winners and losers coming out of this totally unnecessary crisis one would have to say the winners were the American people who will see their government go back to work for them. And the losers . . . the American people who will never recover either the direct costs of this shutdown or the lost opportunities due to the shutdown at a time when our economy is still struggling to put millions of Americans back to work, to save families from foreclosure, and to provide basic services including security, health care and education.
No progress has been made on the profound differences which have virtually paralyzed this Congress and no consensus has been reached on abandoning the tactics of holding our government and our economy hostage rather than engaging in honest debate and compromise. Upon passage of this agreement the Congress must turn its attention to passing a budget and a vision of how we can effectively address the urgent needs of the American people along with a number of other pressing legislative issues. I am eager to engage in that constructive process and trust that we will move forward in that vein without delay.