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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mixed Florida reaction to debt deal



UPDATED Monday morning. See the jump for more.

Florida lawmakers and politicos have been slow to react to the debt-ceiling deal Congressional leaders and President Obama announced tonight (story here) But the few voices out there are a mixed bag.

U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, seemed okay with it. "Before conservatives go criticizing this agreement consider what would have happened if Pelosi, Reid and Obama were still in control," he tweeted.

South Florida Tea Party leader Everett Wilkinson called it "unacceptable ... We need real cuts, not hypothetical savings. If this were a game of football, this is the first quarter and the tea party just completed a 20 yard pass from our 25 yard line and now we are at the 45 yard line with a first down. There is a heck of a lot of game left, the tea party has the ball."

U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner also seemed unimpressed. "The only thing Washington is better at than out of control spending is declaring false victory," he tweeted.

U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux: "This deal is no time for celebration; it offers no significant debt reduction for our children and grandchildren and no fundamental reforms that will solve Washington's spending addiction."


U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, said on Morning Joe that he would vote against the plan.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and the chair of the Democratic National Committe: "The President and Democrats' primary focus has been to ensure that we meet our obligations and avoid default while beginning to get our fiscal house in order. This deal accomplishes that. It puts in place a framework for long-term fiscal discipline and it makes a down payment on deficit reduction.The agreement sets the stage for a balanced package that includes revenues. But we're not over the hurdle yet. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this compromise and renew their commitment to working to together in a bipartisan fashion to move our country forward."

She added in a tweet: "Bottom line: Dems protected Medicare, Medicaid & SS, secured balance w/defense cuts, set stage for more balanced plan. Won day w/compromise."

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, said on CNBC that he would support the deal.

Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, says he's a no vote. He voted against House plan last week, saying it did not go far enough.

“As congressional leaders negotiated the final details of their debt limit compromise, I was hopeful that I’d have the opportunity to support an aggressive, long-term spending solution," Southerland said. "Regretfully, however, I recognized that this agreement falls short of addressing our historic economic challenges and does not alleviate the threat of a crippling downgrade in America’s credit rating.  While I will vote ‘no’ on this compromise for a debt limit increase, I am committed to working with like-minded members of both parties to put forth common sense solutions for our most difficult challenges.”

Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, came out against the proposal less than an hour before it was to come up for a vote. “America is nearly upside down on the national mortgage and this legislation is not a viable long term solution to put our fiscal house in order.  No responsible bank would lend to a family in the financial condition our nation is in without a realistic and enforceable plan to get their spending under control.  Without a Balanced Budget Amendment in place, this deal, as with dozens of others, will barely last through this election, let alone ten years.  My kids and grandkids cannot afford trillions more in debt and I was not sent here to heel like a good puppy when the President or the Treasury Secretary says so.  I was sent here to do what is right for my constituents and the nation, even if that makes me unpopular or costs me my seat.”

Congressman Ross continued, “The Speaker is up against the most liberal President since Jimmy Carter and a Senate that spends more time bloviating than legislating.  I do not envy him that task.  No one should mistake my differences with this legislation as an indication of any problem with my Speaker.  Those of us who vote no on today’s legislation will send a message to the President that 75% of the American people want to tie Washington’s hands when it comes to spending and we know our Speaker will be there when it happens.”

[Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 5:47pm]


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