October 16, 2013

Crapo, Risch Oppose Debt Ceiling and Government Funding Deal

Deal does nothing to reform the true drivers of U.S. debt that now stands at almost $17 trillion

Washington, D.C. - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted against legislation to delay the nation's borrowing limit until February 7, 2014, and temporarily fund government operations until January 15, 2013.  Included in the agreement is a requirement for both chambers of Congress to go to conference on a budget with a reporting deadline of December 13, 2013, as well as new safeguards to ensure people who receive federal subsidies to purchase health insurance under Obamacare are eligible to receive them.

"Americans are justifiably angry with Congress for its failure to come together to provide real solutions to our growing debt crisis," Crapo said.  "While this measure does some good by preventing a default on the debt, ending the government shutdown, preserving the spending restraints put in place by the Budget Control Act and requiring both houses of Congress to move forward with the long-overdue budget process, it does almost nothing to address our long-term mandatory spending and debt problems or correct the still-unfolding problems with the president's health care law.  Congress established debt ceilings to provide the opportunity to debate the government's spending habits.  Unfortunately, continuing resolutions perpetuate the problem of keeping government spending on autopilot.  We cannot continue this unrestrained spending.  It is time to make the hard decisions regarding our dire fiscal situation, and I am going to keep the pressure on to get it done."

"The United States faces serious long-term debt and spending challenges that we must confront now," Risch said.  "Sadly this deal kicks the can down the road for three months and I could not support it.  The federal government continues to borrow too much, spend too much, and intrude into the lives of Americans too much.  I hope the President and my Democrat colleagues will offer serious proposals to find a solution instead of turning this situation into another crisis in January."

The measure passed the Senate with a vote of 81 - 18 and now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.  Due to a lapse in funding, the government has been in partial shutdown since October 1, 2013.  While its projections are not exactly the same, both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) project that the ability to use extraordinary measures to prevent the country from breaching the debt ceiling will run out within the coming weeks.  In January 2009, the total federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion. This week, it hit $16.7 trillion - an increase of 57 percent.