In wake of split vote on shutdown deal, Kansas lawmakers sound off
By The Hutchinson News
Most Kansans in Congress voted against the deal that passed Wednesday to raise the national debt limit, reopen federal government operations and avert a possible default on debt payments. Funding and borrowing will have to be addressed again in early 2014.
The bill passed the Senate 81-18. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Dodge City, voted no; Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Manhattan, voted yes.
The House OK'd the bill, 285-144. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, voted yes. Reps. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler/Hutchinson, Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, and Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, voted no.
What they said or wrote Wednesday:
* Roberts: "This deal fails on spending. This deal fails on Obamacare. Future negotiations based on this deal will likely fail as well. We cannot afford to kick the can down the road again."
* Moran: "It's a sad day in America when Washington must choose between economic catastrophe now and economic catastrophe later. A better way does exist, and I pray Washington will muster the discipline to pursue it."
* Huelskamp: "Sometimes I think my Republican colleagues in Washington ought to simply make it official — and adopt the white flag of surrender as their official emblem. I can't count how many times Republican House members have said, '(Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry) Reid won't accept that.' Or 'We can't do that, because Obama won't allow it.' Or 'The media might misreport that.' Give me a break. No one said this was going to be easy."
* Pompeo: "Washington has once more kicked the can down the road by raising the limit on the government credit card without dealing with the drivers (sic) our national debt. This means fewer jobs, higher taxes, and ordinary Kansans suffering under the ever-increasing, costly burden of Obamacare that will achieve few, if any, of its goals."
* Yoder: "The bill voted on in the House does very little to address ongoing spending problems in Washington, and only kicks the can down the road again. I could not support this approach."
* Jenkins: "I voted today to get our government back open, to prevent any default on our obligations, and get people back to work while our negotiators have a serious conversation about our debt crisis. I remain committed to doing everything I can in the days and weeks ahead to encourage my colleagues to put politics aside, sit down, and have a common-sense conversation to address the failures of the president's health care law and fix our broken budget process."