Local Representatives Support Debt Deal
August 1, 2011
By Lorraine Swanson and Amanda Luevano
Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) voted for the Budget Control Act, S. 365, a compromise agreement that narrowly averted a federal government default and damaging the fragile economy.
In a press statement released after the House vote on Monday, Lipinski called the compromise bill “a step forward in putting our fiscal house in order.”
“As with any compromise, this one is by no means perfect,” Lipinski said. “My preference would have been for a bipartisan ‘grand bargain’ that paired spending cuts with the elimination of unjustifiable special-interest tax breaks and loopholes. Sadly, negotiations between President Obama and Speaker Boehner broke down before such an agreement could be reached.”
Lipinski said he was frustrated by the posturing on the both sides of the aisle that nearly derailed negotiations with hours to spare before a default.
“If not for the continuing efforts to score political points,” the congressman said. “I believe we could have reached an agreement sooner, achieved a better outcome, and spent the past months focused on jobs rather than the debt ceiling.
In May, Lipinski voted against increasing the debt ceiling without significant deficit reduction. The compromised bill caps spending, cuts the deficit by $917 billion over ten years, and establishes a mechanism for increasing the debt ceiling through 2012. The bill also establishes a bipartisan, bicameral committee to craft a bill cutting the deficit by an additional $1.5 trillion or more, with the bill going before the House and Senate for a vote before the end of the year.
“In casting my vote, I bore in mind that 14 million Americans are unemployed and job creation has slowed to a trickle,” Lipinski said. Given the fragile state of the economy, it would have been deeply irresponsible to either permit a government default or fail to address our overwhelming national debt, as each represents a grave threat to economic growth.
Earlier Monday, Lipinski said he wasn’t “going to vote based on an outline” but wanted to take time to study the details of S. 365.
Monday, 3:23 p.m. --
As both houses of Congress line up to vote Monday on a brokered deal to raise the limit on U.S. borrowing or face defaulting on the country’s debts, U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) said he is hopeful that the compromise both sides were able to reach on Sunday will resolve the debt-ceiling impasse.
The compromised deal permits vital U.S. borrowing by the Treasury in exchange for more than $2 trillion in long-term spending cuts.
“From the beginning, I have stated that we need to cut the deficit while protecting the middle class and make sure our government can pay its bills,” Lipinski said Monday in a press statement. “My focus now is on carefully studying the legislative language to make sure it does the right thing for the American people and will in fact accomplish what it is supposed to accomplish.”
The Illinois congressman – whose third congressional district encompasses LaGrange, Lyons, Burbank, Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Lemont, Homer Glen, the western portion of Orland Park and all of Lockport Township – supports increasing the debt ceiling while lowering the national deficit.
Lipinski voted in favor of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s debt-ceiling proposal on Saturday. He liked Reid's proposal because it reduced spending by $927 billion. He did not support the House Republican proposal because the plan “does not represent a compromise that can pass the Senate and thereby avoid a default.”
Lipinski said he voted against the controversial Wall Street bailout bill in 2008 because “it was filled with loopholes and I could not support it.”
As of Monday, Lipinski was carefully studying the bipartisan debt deal hammered out the night before.
“It is unfortunately that it took so long to site down and work out a compromise and we don’t have much time to act,” Lipinski said. “But as a legislator, I cannot vote on the basis of an outline, however compelling – I need to see the details and I am carefully studying them now.”
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