House Passes Budget Deal

Libby Casey, APRN – Anchorage

The U.S. House just passed the spending deal hammered out late last Friday night that avoids a government shutdown.  It cuts more than $38
billion in spending, and would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year til October.  The vote tally was 260 to 167 – most Republicans supported it, and a majority of Democrats voted against it, even though President Obama and the top Dem in the Senate brokered the deal.

Now the bill goes to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass.

Alaska Congressman Don Young voted for it.  He says the threat of a government shutdown was too real – and wasn’t worth the risk.  He wants to see the spending bill get cleared by the Senate and signed by the President so work can get moving on next year’s budget.

“I wish people would get over this 2011.  We’ve got people who are going to vote against it.  I don’t understand what they’re thinking. Get this 2011 behind us, as we should.  The cuts, some of them I don’t like.  But we’ve got to do something otherwise we will not pass this bill and we have to have 2012.  You can’t have 2012 without finishing 2011.  We’re stuck in sort of a trough, a vortex,” Young said.

When it comes to the 2012 budget – plans for next year and beyond – Republicans came out loudly Wednesday against the blueprint President Obama laid out for deficit reduction.  Instead many are supporting a plan by Budget Committee Chairman Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. But Congressman Young says neither one has it right.

“My one discussion with the leadership, I disagree with them, they’re not addressing the problems of why we’re not creating the wealth we
created in the past.  Obama doesn’t do it, Ryan doesn’t do it, none of the budgets do it.  So I’m suggesting until they grasp that they’re not going to be able to solve the problem,” Young said.

Young says President Obama has come up with some sound ideas… and he’s looking to BOTH sides to push for more oil and gas development,
mining, and manufacturing.  But the Alaska Representative says he is glad Capitol Hill is talking about the nation’s finances – a situation Young calls a crisis.