Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Analyzing the latest votes in Congress

Last week in Congress: How our representatives voted with analysis from News Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski

 -----

WASHINGTON — Here are the votes of Western New York's four members of the House of Representatives on major legislation in Congress last week. A "Y" means the member voted for the measure; an "N" means the member voted against the measure; an "A" means the member did not vote. There were no key votes in the Senate.

HOUSE

Increasing Debt Limit

The House approved a resolution sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, expressing disapproval of the president's exercise of authority to increase the debt limit.Reed said the growing debt "will destroy the American Dream if we do not stand up to the plate and lead us out of this fiscal nightmare that we now find ourselves in." He added that the resolution will show the House's leadership on deficit reduction.

An opponent, Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., said the resolution would put the U.S. government "back to the brink of default" on its debt obligations and distracted the House "from addressing the real needs of the American people."

The vote Wednesday was 239 yeas to 176 nays. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, N; Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul, D-Amherst, N; Reed, Y; Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-Fairport, N.

Jerry Zremski's analysis: The most telling thing about this vote is that it was the ONLY SUBSTANTIVE ONE held in the House last week. Welcome to the way of the world in Congress in election year 2012, where very little will be on the agenda except what absolutely has to be.

This measure was on the agenda because the debt-ceiling deal from last summer gave House Republicans the chance to take a symbolic stand against President Obama's decision to increase the borrowing cap. There is no chance of this resolution going anywhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate, meaning House Republicans could use the vote to flex their budget-cutting muscles without actually having to do any heavy lifting -- and without potentially throwing the economy into chaos with a federal default.

It's a vote rich in irony, though. After all, the debt ceiling had to be raised to cover expenses that the government had already made -- with the approval of budget legislation last year by many of the very same Republicans who voted against raising the debt ceiling last week. It's sort of like running up debts on your credit card, and then refusing to pay, knowing all along that your wife (or husband) will pay the bill for you.

-- Jerry Zremski

 -----

Information is supplied by Targeted News Service.

tagged

Congress | Washington
comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

Subscribe

Advertisement