Democrat Durbin praises Republican Kirk for “stepping up,” backing raising debt limitContinue reading.
Dick Durbin yes, Mark Kirk no, on Senate measure to debate raising debt limit
WASHINGTON–The Illinois senators split Saturday on a vote to debate raising the debt ceiling before the Oct. 17 deadline with Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin a yes and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk a no–despite earlier saying he would be for it.
The Democratic-authored measure failed to gain the 60 votes needed to make it filibuster proof, failing 53-45 on a near party line vote. The legislation would have extended the debt ceiling through Dec. 31, 2014.
Asked to explain, Kirk spokesman Lance Trover said, “He wanted to send a message that a bipartisan bill has more potential than a party line blank check that gets us through the election.”
Kirk is part of a GOP group backing compromise proposals authored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).
On Oct. 7, a Kirk’s office confirmed Kirk would vote for a “clean” Senate bill to lift the debt ceiling, that is, one with no strings attached and would vote for “cloture,” that is, making a bill filibuster-proof so it could advance for debate. The Saturday vote was on the “cloture” question.
On Oct. 9, Durbin even praised Kirk from the Senate floor for announcing his support to raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached. Kirk was the first Republican to make the public pledge.
“I want to say a special word about my colleague, my Republican Senate colleague Mark Kirk who announced this week that he would vote for a clean debt ceiling,” Durbin said.
“I have said it back home and I will say it here on the floor–it’s the right thing to do for my colleague, it’s the right thing to do for America. I want to express my appreciation for his leadership.
“I hope his example of stepping up and saying he’s going to put the country first before his party is one that will be followed by other members on his side,” Durbin said.