The U.S. House tonight approved the Senate bill to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, bringing a 16-day drama to an end.
Six Florida Republicans joined Democrats: Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Ander Crenshaw, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Dan Webster.
Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville: "The last few weeks have been long and challenging for the country, and today I supported an agreement to re-open the government, prevent default on our national debt, and preserve the savings that I fought to enact into law. ... I have heard from many of my constituents throughout this debate, and the focus of discussion has been rightly centered on Obamacare. This law is stifling our economy, killing jobs, driving up premiums, and forcing people off the health care plans they have and like. I still maintain that the Affordable Care Act is bad for this country, it is a flawed law, and its disastrous rollout is a sign of even worse things to come. However, today's debate needs to be rightly focused on reopening the government, avoiding default, and protecting the historic spending cuts we achieved over the last few years."
Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton: "For over two weeks, a small group of Republican extremists have led our nation through a pointless and irresponsible exercise that in the end left us with billions of dollars in lost economic output and diminished credibility worldwide. We should be working on reasonable solutions that actually address the American people's economic priorities, from fixing our broken immigration system to growing middle class paychecks to ending tax-havens that reward corporations for moving offshore. Unfortunately, these and so many more of the American people's priorities go unanswered when commonsense is abandoned and a reckless few can turn a divided Congress into a dysfunctional Congress."
Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: "I have worked tirelessly with my House colleagues passing legislation to protect this country and put its people above partisan politics – legislation which the Senate has failed to act on," said Bilirakis. "Therefore, tonight, I voted to avoid a national default, end the government shutdown, and provide certainty to all hardworking Americans, especially our veterans, active military personnel and seniors. I remain committed to finding a long-term solution that will keep government spending under control, provide relief from ObamaCare's mandates, and ensure both Congress and the Administration are subjected to the same provisions under the health care law."
Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: "Our country is on an unsustainable spending path. This bill does nothing to create a long-term plan that would address the drivers of our enormous debt. If we were to divide up the debt per person, each person would owe about $53,000. Until we put into place a systemic plan to lower our debt, we shouldn't raise our debt ceiling. When are we going to say enough is enough and address our unsustainable spending? We can't continue to ignore this runaway spending train."
Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter: "I am pleased that Congress was at long last able to find a common sense solution where both parties came to the middle to avoid the catastrophe of a default and to reopen the government after an unnecessary shutdown. But it never should have come to this -- a 16 day shutdown and driving our country to the brink of default have caused real harm to the American people, our economy, and our world standing. This manufactured crisis should have been prevented weeks ago. I sincerely hope that the Tea Party does not repeat this nonsense a few months from now; our country simply cannot afford it. To stop this trend of governing from crisis to crisis, Congress should make smart spending cuts and pass a responsible budget to give certainty and stability to our small businesses and economy to grow and create jobs."
Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota: "Jeopardizing the full faith and credit of the United States by defaulting on our obligations was not an option," said Buchanan, one of 285 members of the House to support the bipartisan legislation. "There is no question that we need to reduce spending and balance the budget, but not by degrading America's credit rating and destroying our credibility."
Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach: "I joined my colleagues to take the responsible action of re-opening the federal government and make sure America pays its bills. The vote tonight will allow patriotic Americans to get back to work and veterans and seniors to receive their Social Security and other benefits in a timely manner," Frankel said. "Now it's time to focus on long-term solutions that create jobs with fiscally sound budget decisions that reduce waste and invest in infrastructure and education."
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami: "Tonight's vote will reopen the government and keep spending numbers at current levels until January 15, 2014, giving Congress the opportunity to properly finish the appropriations process and maintain the sequester savings. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact meaningful long term reforms that truly address our spending and debt crises."