Follow The Republic:
Less than 24 hours after congressional votes to reopen the U.S. government, U.S. Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., said the American people were the real losers in the debt-ceiling showdown because nothing has been done to make the nation live within its means.
“Washington tends to spend a lot of time in these disputes trying to figure out who the winners and losers are. To me, the losers in this were the American people. We ended up with a cost of tens of billions of dollars due to the shutdown and no policy improvements either,” Messer said after a U.S. Senate-brokered deal put furloughed government employees back to work and raised the debt ceiling.
Messer, the 6th District congressional representative from Shelbyville, voted against the debt-ceiling increase with 143 others in the House late Wednesday night. A day later, Messer said it was “too soon to know the political fallout.”
The congressman said he voted against the measure because “the bill does little to protect the American people from Obamacare or to protect our children and grandchildren from inheriting a mountain of debt. Nonetheless, I am glad to see the shutdown ending. It’s time to get people back to work and time for Congress to move forward.”
The key votes — 81-18 in the Senate and 285-144 in the House — left sour tastes in the mouths of many tea party conservatives who got little or no concessions from Democrats during the 16-day shutdown of most federal government services.
More moderate Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said tactics used by members of his party over the past few weeks could lead to a “marginalized (Republican) party in the eyes of the American people.”
Messer acknowledged there have been divisions among Republicans, but he said the party now must focus on “principles that unite us.
“We have to stop spending money we don’t have, and we ought not raise taxes in a stagnant economy.”
The first-term Indiana congressman, whose district includes part of Bartholomew County, called the nation’s new health insurance system a bad law.
Wednesday’s votes mean the U.S. will continue paying its bills while allowing the U.S. government to avoid a historic default on the national debt. Now, the debt limit has been lifted until a new deadline of Feb. 7, and government operations are funded through Jan. 15.
The next step requires Democrats and Republicans to begin intense budget negotiations with a goal of concluding them by Dec. 13.
U.S. Rep. Todd Young, a second-term Republican from Bloomington who represents Indiana’s 9th Congressional District, voted for the debt-ceiling increase and called for an end to political “brinksmanship.”
“I voted for a plan to avoid default on our national debt, to end the partial shutdown of the federal government, to create a framework for immediately dealing with our budget challenges, and to tighten anti-fraud measures for Obamacare’s tax subsidies. But this is only the beginning,” Young said in a statement.
“Under this plan, government funding will again run out in just three months, and we’ll be up against our borrowing limit in a mere four months. We must commit ourselves to avoiding the constant cycle of brinksmanship by working across party lines to address issues like job creation, stagnant personal incomes, our unsustainable national debt, and rising health care costs,” Young said.
“And we must do that as soon as the current stalemate is resolved, not when we are facing the next deadline.”
Indiana’s 9th District includes all or parts of Brown, Jackson and Johnson counties.
The average citizen likely sees the vote to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and reopen government as a victory for President Barack Obama, Messer said Thursday, but the congressman insisted the time to get serious about reducing spending is now.
“Nobody likes a sore winner,” Messer said of Obama and the Democratic Party.
“We have a lot of work to do as a country. The president said if the government reopened, he’d negotiate and start working on efforts to cut spending, improve our budget and improve Obamacare. I hope he keeps that promise.
“The American people are on our side on that issue. Virtually every poll shows people believe we are spending too much,” the congressman said. “Now is not the time for finger pointing.”
On the Affordable Care Act or health reform, Messer said the early performance of the federal website that provides information on insurance plans and costs has been a disaster.
He said he plans to introduce legislation in Congress to absolve individuals of paying a penalty for not getting insurance if the website isn’t operating smoothly by Jan. 1.
“How can the president tax people for not signing up on a website that doesn’t work?” Messer asked.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
Note: All comments left on our sites are first reviewed by an automated comment moderation system. Your comment may take up to 5 minutes to appear. If for any reason your comment can not be approved you will receive an email from this system with a detailed explanation.
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.