The Erie area is represented by four members of Congress, only one of whom voted against the bill to reopen the government and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until Feb. 7.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., joined 17 of his Senate colleagues in voting against the bill. The vote was 81-18 in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey/ File photo.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., was among the majority who voted for the bill.
On the House side, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., and U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, of Howard Township, Centre County, R-5th Dist., also voted for the bill, where it passed in the GOP-controlled chamber, 285-144.
Toomey said he voted against increasing the nation’s debt burden because the law does nothing to address overspending that has caused the debt to mount.
“The one major redeeming aspect of this bill is that it reopens the government,” Toomey said in a statement.
“I disagreed with the plan to make funding the government contingent on defunding Obamacare and I am glad this bill will get the shutdown behind us. But I cannot support piling hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on current and future generations of Americans without even a sliver of reform to start putting our fiscal house in order,” he said.
The law includes a bipartisan plan for deficit negotiations, though similar past efforts have failed.
Democrats wasted no time in attacking Toomey’s vote.
“Tea Party Pat Toomey has once again shown his true colors by leading the most extreme wing against a policy to reopen the government and help hundreds of thousand of middle class Americans,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Marc Eisenstein said in a statement.
“Tea Party Pat Toomey wants to continue to hold the nation’s economy hostage while he fights for Tea Party policies that his constituents simply do not support. There has been no clearer indication that Tea Party Pat Toomey is completely out-of-touch with Pennsylvania,” he said.
What do you think about our lawmakers’ votes?
– John Guerriero