Palm Beach County’s House members all back deal to end government shutdown, raise debt ceilingby George Bennett | October 17th, 2013
The four Democrats who represent Palm Beach County in the U.S. House of Representatives all voted for the deal to end the government shutdown and increase the federal debt ceiling on Wednesday night.
After the Senate approved the deal earlier in the day on an 81-18 vote — with Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in favor and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio opposed — the House gave its OK with a 285-144 vote.
Reactions from Palm Beach County’s congressional delegation after the jump…
Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter: “I am pleased that Congress was at long last able to find a common sense solution where both parties came to the middle to avoid the catastrophe of a default and to reopen the government after an unnecessary shutdown. But it never should have come to this — a 16 day shutdown and driving our country to the brink of default have caused real harm to the American people, our economy, and our world standing. This manufactured crisis should have been prevented weeks ago. I sincerely hope that the Tea Party does not repeat this nonsense a few months from now; our country simply cannot afford it. To stop this trend of governing from crisis to crisis, Congress should make smart spending cuts and pass a responsible budget to give certainty and stability to our small businesses and economy to grow and create jobs.” Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach: “I joined my colleagues to take the responsible action of re-opening the federal government and make sure America pays its bills. The vote tonight will allow patriotic Americans to get back to work and veterans and seniors to receive their Social Security and other benefits in a timely manner. Now it’s time to focus on long-term solutions that create jobs with fiscally sound budget decisions that reduce waste and invest in infrastructure and education.” Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: “Congress may have prevented the United States from defaulting on its credit for the first time in history and brought an end to a reckless government shutdown, but to call this last-minute deal a victory for the American people would be shameful. Narrowly preventing a global financial crisis is nothing to be proud of, nor is there anything extraordinary about letting federal employees of the most powerful nation on earth do their jobs.
“For over two weeks, a small group of Republican extremists have led our nation through a pointless and irresponsible exercise that in the end left us with billions of dollars in lost economic output and diminished credibility worldwide. We should be working on reasonable solutions that actually address the American people’s economic priorities, from fixing our broken immigration system to growing middle class paychecks to ending tax-havens that reward corporations for moving offshore. Unfortunately, these and so many more of the American people’s priorities go unanswered when commonsense is abandoned and a reckless few can turn a divided Congress into a dysfunctional Congress.”Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar: “I join with many of my colleagues and millions of Americans in welcoming the end of this pointless government shutdown and increase in our nation’s debt ceiling to avoid a devastating default.
“For more than two weeks, House Republicans held our country hostage over the Affordable Care Act – more accurately described as the Affordable Care Law. Today, they finally came to grips with reality and agreed to end the shutdown, with nothing to show except record-low polling numbers and the highest level of U.S. jobless benefits claims in six months. That’s what this shutdown has gotten us. Instead of working to avoid a government shutdown in the first place, they decided to play politics with our nation’s economy.
“House Republicans repeatedly said that they wanted ‘fairness for all Americans,’ but their actions spoke louder than their words. It’s not fair to prevent 800,000 furloughed federal employees from working when they have bills coming due. It’s not fair to deny critical health care services to the most vulnerable in our society, including women, infants, and children. And it’s not fair to cheat our nation out of an estimated $20 billion in economic activity, while bringing us to the brink of default on our debt obligations.
“The 17-day Republican shutdown may be over, but its effects will be felt for years to come. From the very beginning, it was ill-advised and it was reckless. Our nation’s standing in the world has been diminished, and the American people’s trust in government is at an all-time low. Congress must do better.
“This short-term fix will not solve our problems overnight. Over the coming weeks and months, Congress will need to come together to make difficult decisions on how to effectively and fairly reduce our nation’s debt, while upholding our shared responsibilities to each other. Continuing to kick the can down the road with short-term fixes threatens the economic stability of our country and the entire globe. It is long past time for Congress to get back to work and address the many pressing needs of our nation and the American people.”