WASHINGTON - Rep. Mike Simpson was the only member of Idaho's all Republican delegation to vote yes to temporarily end the federal government shutdown and increase the debt ceiling.
"The easiest, most politically expedient thing for me to do would have been to vote no and protect my political right flank," said Simpson in a media release. "Doing so, however, would have been the wrong thing to do for my constituents and our economy. My vote today was about the thousands of people facing layoffs at INL, the multitude of businesses across Idaho that have told me their livelihoods are at stake, and the millions of folks across the country who can't afford the devastating impacts of default on their investments and retirements. There has to be a way to address our nation's fiscal problems without making them worse in the process. That is the result I will continue working toward during the time we've afforded ourselves with today's agreement."
Idaho's two senators and Rep. Raúl Labrador voted no to raise the debt limit and temporarily end the shutdown of the federal government.
In a joint media release, Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch said the opposed the deal because it doesn't really fix the problem of overspending.
"While this measure does some good by preventing a default on the debt, ending the government shutdown, preserving the spending restraints put in place by the Budget Control Act and requiring both houses of Congress to move forward with the long-overdue budget process, it does almost nothing to address our long-term mandatory spending and debt problems or correct the still-unfolding problems with the president's health care law," Crapo said. "Congress established debt ceilings to provide the opportunity to debate the government's spending habits. Unfortunately, continuing resolutions perpetuate the problem of keeping almost half the spending for the government on autopilot. We cannot continue this unrestrained spending. It is time to make the hard decisions regarding our dire fiscal situation, and I am going to keep the pressure on to get it done."
"The United States faces serious long-term debt and spending challenges that we must confront now," Risch said. "Sadly, this deal kicks the can down the road for three months, and I could not support it. The federal government continues to borrow too much, spend too much and intrude into the lives of Americans too much. I hope the president and my Democrat colleagues will offer serious proposals to find a solution instead of turning this situation into another crisis in January."
Labrador said, "Like nearly all of my colleagues, I promised my constituents in 2010 and 2012 that I would fight Obamacare - not just cast symbolic, meaningless votes – but work hard to roll it back whenever and wherever possible. I also promised that I would oppose raising the debt ceiling without meaningful cuts to government spending."
The bill calls for opening the government through Jan. 15 and extending the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.
Congress faced a deadline of 11:59 p.m. Thursday. That's when Treasury Secretary Jacob Law had said the government would reach the current $16.7 trillion debt limit and could no longer borrow to meet its obligations.