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.
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.
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