Udall, Bennet vote for debt bill; Obama signs it into law

By Real Aspen
Real AspenAugust 2, 2011
Colorado’s Democratic senators – Mark Udall and Michael Bennet – both voted in favor of a compromise debt-ceiling deal today that President Barack Obama quickly signed into law to avert the debt default in the nation’s history.
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall
Photo by Troy Hooper

The Senate voted 74-26 in favor of the measure, which proposes trimming at least $2.1 trillion in spending over the next decade.

The night before, Colorado’s House delegation split 4-3 on the deal, with one Democratic and two Republicans voting no and two Democrats and two Republicans voting yes.

After the Senate vote, Udall issued this statement:

“Today, I cast my vote with relief that we have a bipartisan plan that will prevent the nation from defaulting on our debt obligations for the first time in history. I’m not going to say this bill is what I had hoped for. Among other things, it does nothing to ensure that the wealthiest among us will help shoulder the burden of balancing our books. It doesn’t end the wasteful tax breaks for multi-billion dollar corporations that ship our jobs overseas. It also fails to reduce the debt by the $4 trillion economists and market experts have said is essential to provide the shot in the arm of certainty that businesses need to expand and start hiring again. But it will protect our economy from crisis and make a down payment on our debt, two critical first steps.

“I fought to create the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission on reducing the deficit, and I still believe the balanced, comprehensive recommendations they made are the best plan going for reducing our structural deficits and long-term debt. We badly need that kind of Colorado common-sense plan. The bill we passed today creates a mechanism to continue the discussion of how to reduce our debt. I’m going to keep fighting for a comprehensive strategy to ensure America is positioned to win the global economic race.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet

Bennet issued this statement:

“Why Washington took so long to resolve a crisis that was entirely of its own making is puzzling to me and to the people of Colorado. No mayor in Colorado would be willing to risk the credit rating of his or her municipality to make an ideological point, and Washington shouldn’t be any different.

“The agreement reached today isn’t perfect; this is not a bill that I or any one Coloradan would have written. But it was a necessary step to avoid a self-inflicted default that would crater our economy, hurt working families and blow an even bigger hole in our deficit. And while I wish it would have gone further, this bill makes a significant down payment on deficit reduction and creates a bipartisan path forward to get our fiscal house in order.

“Coloradans have told me they want a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that materially addresses the problem, ensures we’re all in it together and is bipartisan. It’s my hope that the newly-minted Joint Committee can build on the work done by the Gang of Six to create a plan that meets this three-part test and gives our economy the certainty it needs.”


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