Local lawmakers respond to debt bill passing House
WASHINGTON, (WCAX) - In a late-night vote Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling for the next two years in order to avoid default. Local Representatives responded to its passing as the bill now heads to the Senate.
Tensions ran high as hard-right Republicans refused the deal, but President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy assembled a bipartisan coalition to push to passage on a robust 314-117 vote late Wednesday,
After initially expressing reservations about supporting the measure, Congresswoman Becca Balint, D-Vermont, voted “yes.” “My bottom line will always be: how can I deliver the best results for Vermonters and the American people. I could not in good conscience vote no and risk over 250,000 Vermonters losing their health or veterans benefits - a lifeline for so many families,” Balint said in a statement.
Representative Elise Stefanik, R-New York, voted “yes” and said it’s a crucial first step to putting America on the right economic track. “As House Republicans build on these structural reforms, the American people can be confident that we will never give up on them,” Stefanik said in a statement.
Rep. Annie Kuster, D-New Hampshire, also supported the bill and is urging Senate Democrats to do the same. “In a divided government, compromise is crucial. The agreement passed by the House today is not perfect, but it was necessary to prevent default and avoid an economic catastrophe,” she said in a statement,
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire agreed, tweeting, “I will support this legislation so we can move beyond this crisis and focus on solving problems instead of playing politics.”
That bill now moves on to the Senate where Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, has said he is planning to say “no” to the deal. “At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that takes vital nutrition assistance away from women, infants, children, and seniors,” Sanders said in a statement.
Senator Peter Welch, D- Vermont, has not said how he will vote but has indicated support. “America must pay its bills in full and on time and avoid default. I take that responsibility seriously, and I will review the House-passed bill accordingly,” he said in a statement.
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