Spending Deal Passes U.S. House And Senate

Libby Casey, APRN – Anchorage
The U.S. House and Senate have passed the spending deal hammered out late last Friday night that avoids a government shutdown. All three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation voted for it. The plan cuts more than 38 Billion dollars in spending, and funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year until October.

It passed the Senate 81 to 19. That body rejected measures that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and the national health care law. Senator Lisa Murkowski was one of just five Republicans to join all Democrats in voting against the Planned Parenthood cuts.

The vote tally in the House for the spending plan was 260 to 167. While a majority of Democrats voted against it, some had to join the ‘yays’ to give the GOP speaker room for passage, because 59 of his own Republicans rejected it.

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 get moving on next year’s budget.

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.

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.

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