Senate approves debt deal, with Nelson and Rubio on opposite ends
The U.S. Senate has approved the debt-ceiling deal, sending it on to President Obama. Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson voted yes; Republican Sen. Marco Rubio voted no. The vote was 74-26.
“I cannot support this plan because it fails to actually solve our debt problem, fails to diminish the risk of a credit rating downgrade and is not a long-term solution to avert a debt crisis," Rubio said in a statement. (full remarks in jump)
Nelson's floor speech from earlier today.
Rubio's statment on his no vote. “I cannot support this plan because it fails to actually solve our debt problem, fails to diminish the risk of a credit rating downgrade and is not a long-term solution to avert a debt crisis. This plan still adds at least $7 trillion to our debt over 10 years. It fails to immediately start downsizing government, leaving 98 percent of deficit reduction until after the 2012 election. By not addressing the biggest driver of our debt, health care spending, this plan ensures Medicare’s looming bankruptcy, while protecting ObamaCare’s $2.6 trillion blank check. It contains no real structural reforms to spending, such as a Constitutional balanced budget amendment. It fails to reduce spending by what credit rating agencies say is at least $4 trillion to avert a downgrade. Worst of all is that at a time of 9.2 percent unemployment, this plan fails to include pro-growth measures to help get people back to work and create new taxpayers to help us pay down the debt. In fact, I fear that the new ‘Supercommittee’ in this bill could lead to expedited consideration of big tax hikes on our struggling economy. And if Congress rejects new taxes, then up to $850 billion of devastating automatic defense spending cuts would be triggered at a time when the world is as dangerous as it’s ever been.
“Americans are looking at Washington with anger, disgust and concern that maybe America’s problems are just too big for our leaders to solve. As I outlined in The Wall Street Journal in March, keeping America exceptional will require spending cuts and caps, saving Medicare and Social Security from bankruptcy, a Constitutional balanced budget amendment, tax reform and regulatory reform. Above all, it will require courage.”
A couple hours after the debate, Rubio provided additional remarks on the Senate floor.