Majority of NC Representatives Voted in Favor of Ending Shutdown
October 17, 2013 | WJTV | Link to article
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Six of North Carolina's 13 representatives voted against legislation Wednesday night to end the 16-day federal government shutdown.
Up against a deadline, Congress passed legislation late Wednesday to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown.
The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the bill.
Seven North Carolina representatives -- four Democrats and three Republicans -- voted in favor of the measure, which restores funding for the government through Jan. 15 and extends the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
Those who voted against the legislation argued the debt ceiling should not be raised without first addressing what they call "excessive spending."
"Excessive spending is one of the root causes of our economic decline, and it is just plain wrong," Rep. George Holding (R) said. "Tonight, I voted against the bill to borrow more because it fails to cut spending."
Earlier in the evening, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) said she would vote 'no' on the bill, explaining "It just simply does not have enough in it for me.
"I always promised my constituents in running for office that I wouldn't vote for a debt ceiling increase unless it had significant reforms and spending cuts."
Here is a breakdown of how the state's representatives voted for HR 2775:
Both of North Carolina's senators -- Sen. Richard Burr (R) and Sen. Kay Hagan (D) -- voted in favor of the bill.
In a statement, Hagan called the shutdown "completely unnecessary," explaining that the partisan bickering should have never reached such extremes.
"I am glad the Senate passed a bipartisan plan to re-open the government and avert a default crisis that would be disastrous for our economy and our middle class families," Hagan said. "I wasn't elected to shut down the government or play political games, and it's time for Congress to stop manufacturing crises and get to work on a long-term, bipartisan and balanced plan to get our fiscal house in order, grow our economy and give certainty to families and business owners."
Burr echoed Hagan's sentiments, saying the shutdown has been widely viewed as "irresponsible governing."
"It is time we move on from this episode, begin the reforms needed in our entitlement programs and the tax code, address the rampant waste, fraud, and abuse in government spending, and get back to creating an environment that allows for economic expansion and job creation," Burr said.
Final passage came in plenty of time to assure Obama's signature before the administration's 11:59 p.m. Thursday deadline. That was when Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.
With President Barack Obama's signature early Thursday morning, the White House directed all agencies to reopen promptly and in an orderly fashion. Furloughed federal employees across the country are expected to return to work Thursday.
The partial government shutdown began Oct. 1, initially idling about 800,000 workers, but that soon fell to about 350,000 after Congress agreed to let furloughed Pentagon employees return to work.
While there was widespread inconvenience, the mail was delivered, Medicare continued to pay doctors who treated seniors and there was no interruption in Social Security benefits.
Still, national parks were closed to the detriment of tourists and local businesses, government research scientists were sent home and Food and Drug Administration inspectors worked only sporadically.
According to officials with the Center for Law and Social Policy, North Carolina was the only state in the country that suspended processing Work First applications and limited child care assistance in response to the government shutdown.
DHHS announced Monday the suspension of processing Work First applications or renewals because there were no guarantees of federal reimbursement. Work First, which provides cash benefits to families with unemployed or underemployed parents, served more than 20,000 people in September.