Stabenow, Levin both vote in favor of debt ceiling deal

Published 10:49 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Congress passed the debt ceiling deal Tuesday after the U.S. Senate approved it with a vote of 74 to 26. The bill was rushed to President Barack Obama, who signed it just hours before the deadline.
Many lawmakers expressed frustration with the bill but most were happy to see a compromise was reached in time to avoid the nation defaulting on its debt.
The House of Representatives Monday passed the bill, which calls for cutting more than $2 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years in exchange for increasing the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 trillion.
Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin both voted for the deal, but Levin said the bill is far from perfect.
“To say the legislation before us is not ideal is truly an understatement,” Levin said in a statement Tuesday. “The notion that our deficit problem can be solved solely by cutting spending flies in the face of our experience when in fact unwise tax cuts for the wealthy and egregious tax loopholes are significant culprits in our fiscal crisis.”
Levin said the spending cuts need to be more balanced.
“Everyone, including surely the wealthy, must play a role in reducing deficits,” he said.
Stabenow said she was “glad that cooler heads finally prevailed” with the passage of the bipartisan agreement.
“It is critical that Congress now focus on the top priority for our families — strengthening our economy so businesses can create jobs,” she said in a statement Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., voted for the measure Monday.
“This agreement begins to address our nation’s long-term debt with firm spending cuts and caps, now and in the future,” Upton, of St. Joseph, said in a statement.
Obama was pleased that lawmakers were able to reach a compromise.
“It’s an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means,” he said. “Yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs, and assures that we’re not cutting too abruptly while the economy is still fragile.”