5 House Members From Illinois Vote ‘No’ On Debt-Ceiling Compromise
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UPDATED 08/02/11 6:41 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Five members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation voted against the debt-ceiling authorization Monday – in some cases, for radically different reasons.
The measure the House passed 269-161 with a national financial default looming would raise the federal government’s debt limit by more than $2.4 trillion over time and would cut $3 trillion from the deficit. Of the cuts, $1 trillion is identified, but a bipartisan committee would recommend further reductions.
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Tea Party activists opposed it. Congressman Joe Walsh, R-McHenry, had said the measure doesn’t go nearly far enough in ending America’s deficit spending.
“It’s amazing to me how these troublesome House Republicans, of which I am one, have changed the entire conversation,” he told CNN.
Liberal Democrat Jan Schakowsky of Evanston also voted “no,” but because of the package’s cuts to entitlement programs.
On the CBS 2 Morning News Tuesday, Schakowsky said the crisis is not one of short-term debt, but of unemployment, foreclosures and a disappearing middle class.
“My concern is that the people that were I think really hostages in many ways in this deal, in order to stop the United States from not paying its bills, were the seniors and middle class people who are now going to have to pony up about $1 trillion without a single penny from millionaires and billionaires and big companies that did not pay any taxes,” she said.
Also voting “no” was fellow Democrat Jesse Jackson Jr. of Chicago, who says the legislation will prolong the suffering for hard-hit American families.
Jackson says the debt agreement fails to create the jobs sorely needed in his area, and sets the stage for further budget cuts that will hurt his constituents.
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“There will be many more votes over the next year, year and a half, and beyond, where a small number of Republicans will be demanding even further cuts amongst the most vulnerable of our citizens,” Jackson told WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore. “And so, what’s not accomplished in the short run will certainly be accomplished by the same Republicans in the long term.”
He says President Barack Obama had other options and didn’t take them.
Republican Reps. Randy Hultgren and Timothy Johnson also cast no votes.
But Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Chicago said default would have been disastrous. He said that sees other items to cut, such as the Fighting Vehicle neither the Marines nor the Defense Department wants.
“Things like this, I believe, can be cut and will be cut, because finally we’re going to have to find the places to make these cuts,” Lipinski said.
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who also voted for the bill, said the greatest concern is the need to “turn the Titanic around and keep it for hitting the iceberg.”
“Government has grown 86 percent in the last couple of years, and we’re taking about the American family has had to constrict their spending, so government needs to be disciplined in their spending too,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who expects to support the measure in his chamber when it comes for a vote Tuesday, says centrists will prevail and send the legislation to President Obama.
“If you’ve got flaming arrows hitting both sides of your wagon from the extreme left and the extreme right, you’re with the American people,” Kirk told CBS 2’s Mike Parker.