3 local representatives vote yes, 2 oppose
August 1, 2011 (Washington D.C.) -- By a 269-161 vote, the compromise measure hammered out by President Barack Obama and bipartisan leaders of both houses passed the House of Representatives. It now advances to the Senate, which is expected to vote before tomorrow's deadline to raise the debt ceiling or face default on our national debt.
Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) voted no on the measure, citing concerns over defense spending cuts. Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) voted in favor, calling it the "best of no good alternatives." Both have issued statements explaining their positions in detail. (Scroll down for full text). San Diego Republican Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa voted for the measure, while Democrat Bob Filner voted against it.
In a moment of drama, Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords returned to the House floor for the first time since being shot in the head, drawing bipartisan applause as she entered the chamber to vote for the bill.
Congresswoman Davis' office:
“I want to thank my constituents for being so engaged and letting me know how they feel. I’ve been as frustrated as they have been. On top of all the things my constituents are worried about today, I regret that we’ve caused them additional concern.
“This agreement was the best of no good alternatives. The bottom line is America must pay its bills. Washington has no business jeopardizing the full faith and credit of the world’s strongest economy or endangering the savings, benefits and lending opportunities of the American people.
“My constituents aren’t interested in political theater—they want us to compromise so that we can solve their problems and get our economy back on track.
“There is much in this bill that concerns me deeply, such as the lack of new revenue from closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. However, I am pleased that the measure allows us more time to address our challenges thereby giving us more of an opportunity to stabilize the economy. It also protects Social Security and Medicare.
“Now that we’ve bought some time, we need to refocus on job creation and making sure the American Dream is alive and well for everyone, especially middle class Americans.”
Congressman Hunter's office:
Today, U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-52) voted against the latest debt limit proposal due to the likelihood that the special committee created under the plan will fail to reach an agreement and therefore “trigger” $600 billion in defense budget cuts. Hunter voted in support of the previous two debt limit proposals originating in the House—The Cut, Cap and Balance Act and Speaker Boehner’s debt limit reduction plan.
“Right now, the U.S. military is facing large equipment shortfalls and growing reset burdens while engaged in three wars,” said Congressman Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “When we should be talking about what our military needs to keep us safe and prepare for future threats, there’s a misconception that security spending is what put the country in this fiscal sinkhole and the only way out is to cut national defense.
“The future of U.S. security should not be handed over to a 12-person super panel. Its decisions or inability to reach an agreement could ultimately break our military or bring it very close to that point.
“From a historical perspective, current defense spending is at dangerously low levels. Under President Kennedy, defense spending was at nine percent of Gross Domestic Product. It was six percent under President Reagan. Today, it’s below four percent and with $400 billion in additional cuts, military readiness will continue its steady decline.
“And we cannot overlook what a $400 billion cut in defense means for jobs. It’s estimated that every billion in defense spending supports 8,000 jobs nationwide. Any sizeable cut in the defense budget would mean more lost jobs at a time when job growth is almost non-existent and a record number of Americans remain out of work.
“There’s no substitute for a strong national defense. America’s fiscal outlook is serious, but we know what’s straining the budget and it’s not defense.”