Idaho politics: Simpson, Labrador split vote on debt-ceiling increase

UPDATED, 5:36 p.m., with Labrador's no vote and statement.

Idaho lawmakers split on the House-passed compromise bill to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and cut federal budgets.

Second Congressional District Rep. Mike Simpson, who presided in the speaker's chair during this afternoon's debate, voted for the plan, which passed, 269-161. First Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador voted no.

“Does this legislation solve all our problems? No it does not,” said Simpson, “but we have to ask: does it move us in the right direction? Does it begin fixing the enormous fiscal imbalance in our federal government? And, does it bring some certainty to our markets? It does. That’s why I supported it.”

Labrador supported — and negotiated for — Friday's House-passed bill that tied future debt-ceiling increases to congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment. That assurance was stripped from the compromise bill, and that was a factor in Labrador's decision.

"With the help of the new members of Congress, the standard operating procedure in Washington has begun to change from spending recklessly to cutting spending sensibly, but there is a lot more that needs to change," Labrador said in a statement.

The bill now goes to the Senate, where a vote is likely Tuesday.

Here's the Simpson news release:

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, a senior Member on the House Budget Committee, joined his colleagues in passing the amended Budget Control Act of 2011 to avoid the possibility of defaulting on the debt. The bill passed in the House 269-161.

“Does this legislation solve all our problems? No it does not,” said Simpson, “but we have to ask: does it move us in the right direction? Does it begin fixing the enormous fiscal imbalance in our federal government? And, does it bring some certainty to our markets? It does. That’s why I supported it.”

The legislation cuts $917 billion in spending and raises the debt ceiling by $900 billion, then requires that deeper cuts take place and a balanced budget amendment vote occurs before any further debt ceiling increase takes place.

“It is important to realize that the entire debate over federal spending and the debt has changed over the last seven months. One year ago, before Republicans gained the majority in the House, President Obama would have received a blank check from Congress to continue spending while raising the debt ceiling.” said Simpson. “I could have chosen any number of reasons to oppose the bill, but in the end it puts us on a path to fixing our debt crisis and boosts our economy by preventing the possibility of a default and ensuring Social Security checks, active military paychecks and veterans benefits go out on time. It does all this without raising taxes.”

Congressman Simpson had previously supported the Cut, Cap and Balance bill, which was the legislation preferred by House Republicans, but the bill did not have the support of the Senate or the White House.

Simpson has been a cosponsor of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution since he came to Congress. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Here's the Labrador statement:

The debt ceiling agreement that was considered by Congress today represents a good plan to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the debt ceiling debate. It immediately cuts federal spending and implements new spending caps to prevent government expansion when our economy begins to recover. While this bill has the potential to reduce the size of our budget and the trajectory of government spending, this bill doesn't go far enough to make the changes necessary to get us out of our fiscal mess.

I promised my constituents that I would come to Congress to fundamentally change the way the federal government operates. While this legislation is a good first step towards that goal, it also relies on the time honored Washington tradition of delegating problems to commissions instead of solving them ourselves. It places more confidence in its Super Commission than is warranted. The legislation also lacks a rock solid commitment to passage of a balanced budget amendment, which I believe is necessary to saving our nation. With the help of the new members of Congress, the standard operating procedure in Washington has begun to change from spending recklessly to cutting spending sensibly, but there is a lot more that needs to change.

Right Labrador

"this bill doesn't go far enough to make the changes necessary to get us out of our fiscal mess."

Well, Raul, you nailed it. And the reason is because of you and your Tea Party geniuses who killed the original deal.

Tea Party geniuses?

I guess that's what they are. Tea Party members make up a small portion of one house of the Legislature and they get the Dems in the House (Nancy votes yes) and Senate (Harry supports the bill) to vote in favor of a bill that has no tax increases while the White House occupant caves in under the stress of having to act like a leader. Look for more voters to send more "geniuses" to Congress in the next election.

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actually

I wouldn't be surprised if the T-party experiences some pretty severe backlash by the time elections roll around.

Get it done, I don't believe them and will scorn them for life.

AlphaDR is oh too correct when they say we could have done better without those meddling Tea Partiers. If I have 10 years left in my life it will still be the saddest battle.

I don't want 1978 back. Two days of quiet will do.

I've tried every day since my bankruptcy in '96 to keep myself in order watch my parents and try to help. I knew what was trying to happen in the US and elsewhere and I love my parents. They have it together so I stopped worrying.

There have been too many stupid things happening at once and I want it done for now. I want it done right later.

There is no blooper reel.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

The temporary solution to the "liquidity problem"

Is small potatoes compared to the "Solvency Problem" that hangs over the heads of every citizen of this nation. In fact this band aid solution only makes the solvency problem worse.

So I'll expect a bill on my desk next Tuesday.

And we are rather painfully aware of how broke we are.

The problem doesn't go bye-bye with a bill even if we made it with a few.

One type of poster, like you will make a quick statement with no backup to explain and the other will plaster theirs will rhetoric, propaganda and URLs.

We asked 535 or so people to take care of our affairs, the things we couldn't while running the businesses, homes and schools that feed our country's workings each day. I'm certain that some Greek guy had words about a lazy citizenry, right before he said, "This isn't Pepsi"? Maybe they aren't lazy but maybe all they do is type and look for people to 'like' them.

How does typing or calling a radio station do much?

Don't preachers always say that we have separated ourselves from Him, we need to become close?

It's not human nature. That's why we layer ourselves in veils of heirarchy and 'security' so that we don't get hurt by other people who are as lost as we are.

So, quite seriously, I expect to see that bill.

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Too literal? I'm sorry you feel I have a Literal Agenda!

Speak for yourself

You have far more experience with personal bankruptcy than I.

Ahh, another committee

Do we remember what happened to the last committee that was appointed to solve the government spending problem? They were ignored. Welcome to the new committee, same as the old committee.

In 2004, the federal budget was something like $2.4 trillion. That was during the George W. Bush era of Republican schizophrenia, when big government was the new conservatism. In seven years, the budget has almost doubled. Do we have twice as many people in the country? Is government twice as big? What exactly happened to justify spending growth of 100%? Good heavens, if spending had stayed flat, the budget would be balanced this year by the $2.4 trillion in revenues the feds collected!

That aside, the nuttiest thing of all is that this "deficit fighting" agreement does no such thing - the deficit will continue and the national debt will just grow larger. It's smoke and mirrors, friends. Nothing has been solved and if you think that's the case, you're just fooling yourselves.

The pooch voted no ... knowing it would pass...

A big wet kiss on the butt cheeks for the tea party.
Unless he was actually willing to destroy America's economy.
What say you?

Labrador says, "...a good plan..." But votes NO

He is already a true politician. He isnt changing the way Washington does business. Who does he think he is kidding?

I suppose that there was too little for P.R.

in the bill for Raul and too much for America. I promise to vote to send Raul back to home and that is not here. I also promise to support any candidate that is not in the pocket of the Tea Party section of the spectrum although at this point in time I favor either an Independent or a Democratic person. There is too much republican fervor current in our state, we need a party challenge to bring up reasonable solutions and compromise. Something that has been sadly lacking lately at all levels of the polical area for the last 10 years or so.

Not far enough!!!

Whatever Labrador's reason for a "no" vote was, it was the right one. How can anyone believe that we are any closer to a balanced budget amendment now that there is no leverage. Without a balanced budget requirement, only politicians with principles will ever say "no" to more spending. Since they are forever in the minority, I'm afraid it is useless to hope for any sanity when it comes to spending the peoples money!