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Inside the Beltway

Washington politics and government with a New Mexico flavor

Reps. Lujan, Pearce Vote Against Debt Limit Extension, Lujan Grisham Votes for it

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New Mexico’s U.S. House delegation split over today’s vote to extend the nation’s debt limit.

The House voted 285 to 144 to suspend the legal debt ceiling and allow the government to borrow money to cover its expenses  through May 18. Reps. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., and Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., each voted against the measure. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., voted for it.

Here’s what Pearce had to say about the vote:

“Washington has tried short-term extensions on the debt ceiling before,” Pearce said.  “Clearly, they haven’t worked: our debt continues to rise, and Washington continues to print money and raise taxes to fund its spending spree.  The President once said that raising the debt limit was ‘unpatriotic,’ ‘irresponsible,’ and ‘a sign of leadership failure.’  I call on him, and the Senate, to follow his own advice, and work with Congress to address our debt crisis: not tomorrow, not next month, but today.”

Here’s what Lujan said:

This plan once again kicks the can down the road with a short-term extension of the debt limit when our economy needs the certainty of a long-term solution,” Lujan said. “House Republicans are creating another fiscal cliff in three months.  We need a clean vote on the debt limit that puts this issue behind us so Congress can get to work on a plan that responsibly reduces the deficit, avoids the arbitrary cuts of the sequester, and invests in the areas that will spur job creation and economic growth.”

And here’s what Lujan Grisham said:

“Today, while I would prefer to be voting for a long-term increase in the debt limit, I reluctantly voted in favor of the 3-month temporary debt limit suspension,” the congresswoman said. “I voted yes because this legislation lifts the immediate threat of default.  But clearly, we must do better.

“Congress needs to stop playing politics with the debt limit – we have an obligation to pay for the bills we’ve already collected and to keep our fiscal house in order.  This move to suspend the Debt Limit is the type of political gamesmanship that is leading the rating agencies to threaten to downgrade our nation’s credit rating again, hurting our small businesses with more uncertainty and keeping us from moving forward with putting American’s back to work which is the real fix to the economy.  

“Over the next few months, I will work from my seat on the Budget Committee for a long-term extension of the Debt Ceiling, which will put our fiscal house back in order.”

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