Colorado delegation split 4-3 on debt-ceiling deal

By David O. Williams
Real AspenAugust 1, 2011

Colorado’s congressional delegation split 4-3 tonight as the U.S. House voted 269-161 to pass a debt ceiling deal that’s expected to win approval in the Senate on Tuesday.

Democrat Diana DeGette joined Republicans Doug Lamborn and Scott Tipton in voting no on the measure, while Democrats Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter voted for the deal along with Republicans Mike Coffman and Cory Gardner.

“Here we are at the 11th hour, with a gun to our head, being asked to accept an extreme, unbalanced proposal that places too great a burden on the middle class while failing to ask for any shared sacrifice from corporations and the nation’s wealthiest,” DeGette said in a prepared statement. “Frankly, after months of what of could have been productive negotiations to develop a balanced economic path for our country, I resent being forced into this choice.”

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette

Perlmutter, however, said it was matter of not letting America default on its financial obligations by the Tuesday deadline.

“Our nation pays its bills,” Perlmutter said in a release. “This bill preserves the full faith and credit of the United States without sacrificing what makes our country special. American families can’t endure any more chaos on this issue, and we must move on. I’m not happy with every part of this bill, but it would be entirely irresponsible to destroy our economy because each of us can’t get 100 percent of our demands.”

Coffman, a veteran, made a military analogy.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis

“As a Marine Corps combat veteran, I see this agreement today as little more than establishing a beachhead in what will be a long and difficult campaign to defeat deficit spending, pass a balanced budget amendment, and to pay down the national debt,” Coffman said.

“The agreement doesn’t solve every fiscal challenge but it does move us in the right direction and it is a victory for conservatives because it reduces deficit spending without increasing taxes. By promoting spending discipline we will help the economy grow and create jobs.”

DeGette rejected the bill primarily because of the lack of tax increases for the wealthiest Americans.

“Our nation is still in crisis, and the American people deserve a balanced solution, with reasonable cuts to spending – like agricultural and ethanol subsidies, combined with common-sense revenue enhancements – like closing tax loopholes for corporations and the ultra-rich,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

Tipton, a Tea Party freshman, said the bill simply didn’t cut deeply enough.

“I appreciate all of the efforts [House] Speaker {John] Boehner has made on behalf of our country, but the bill simply does not reflect what is necessary to get our fiscal house back in order,” he said. “I cannot authorize a record $2.4 trillion in additional deficit spending without taking larger steps to fixing the underlying problem.”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., shot by a gunman in Tucson earlier this year, made an inspirational appearance on the House floor to vote for the bill.

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