POLITICS: House members from SC vote 4-3 against budget compromise

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN on December 12, 2013 

The South Carolina congressional delegation in the House voted 4-3 against a two-year bipartisan federal budget plan on Thursday night.

The House approved the budget by a 332-94 margin.

Republicans Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Mark Sanford opposed the compromise -- even though the bill contained a gulf oil-drilling provision from Duncan.

Republicans Tom Rice and Joe Wilson sided with the delegation's only Democrat James Clyburn.

Here are statements issued by representatives Thursday night:

Duncan, R-Laurens: "I voted NO on the budget deal. We're governing through procrastination by not dealing with our debt problem today. A promise of future spending cuts doesn't mean much if Washington is just going to continue to punt this problem to our children and grandchildren."

Mulvaney, R-Indian Land: "I voted against the Ryan/Murray proposal today. Were there parts of this bill I liked? Yes. I can absolutely support federal worker pension reform. However, instead of using those modest savings to pay down our debt, this bill uses those savings to spend more money. It is difficult for me to vote for something that trades spending increases now for promised reductions in the future. The past promised spending reductions just never seem to pan out. It’s not unreasonable to believe we are making the exact same mistake now. It seems, yet again, that Washington cannot wean itself from its spending addiction Indeed, what we saw today is another example of how we got $17 trillion in debt: we can have lots of bipartisanship, as long as we spend more money."

Wilson, R-Springdale: “When I was elected to Congress, I promised to help make a difference. The status quo is not working. Government overspending while racking up trillion-dollar deficits is irresponsible, especially when we know that our children and grandchildren will be faced with the burden. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was able to reduce spending from its current levels to help pay down our debt without raising taxes. ... Additionally, President Obama’s sequester, which targets the military, has already limited our Armed Forces’ abilities to protect themselves and defend our freedoms. ilitary installations across South Carolina and the Savannah River Site have faced challenges, which undermine our national security. ... I am very pleased that Chairman Ryan was successful in finding common-sense reforms to replace sequestration that will not place families at risk."

Rice, R-Myrtle BeachThe House-passed Budget agreement makes small reduction in our deficit, and replaces some of the sequester cuts with mandatory cuts. This is a small step in the right direction. If we are to make bigger steps Republicans have to win elections. The economy is poised to accelerate. The main thing holding it back is Washington. Showdowns every 3 months create a cloud of uncertainty. This is the first budget in years and I believe this will encourage businesses to invest and expand."

Sanford, R-Charleston: "While I appreciate that change in politics comes by degree, I think this deal comes up short. It sets federal spending levels for the next two years at just over $1 trillion per year – an increase of $63 billion from the levels Congress passed into law in 2011. Then it goes on to offset that higher spending by raising taxes. For instance, fees for airline travel will more than double from the current $5 per round trip to $11.20 per round trip. This provision, along with others, results in $63 billion in increased revenues for the government - which most of us would call $63 billion in higher taxes, given that it’s a transfer of money from the taxpayer’s pocket to Washington. ... I joined 32 other conservatives in sending a letter written by fellow South Carolina Representative Mick Mulvaney expressing our preference for a 'clean' budget agreement, or one that simply upholds current law. I believe Congress needs to preserve the small victories it has already made for financial discipline."

Meanwhile in the Senate, S.C. Republican Lindsey Graham said he would vote against the budget because it contains a one percent reduction in cost of living benefits for some military retirees:

"After careful review of the agreement, I believe it will do disproportionate harm to our military retirees. Our men and women in uniform have served admirably during some of our nation’s most troubling times. They deserve more from us in their retirement than this agreement provides."

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