Area leaders votes, reaction to debt-ceiling deal

Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:39:06 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 17 2013 08:56:21 PM EDT
Breaking down the vote 
U.S. SENATETotal rollcall vote:81 yeas (52 Democrats, 27 Republicans)
18 nays (0 Democrats, 18 Republicans)
Area senators:Sen. Bill Nelson (D- Florida) - yea
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) - nay
Sen. Saxby Chamblis (R-Georgia) - yea
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia - yea
U.S. HOUSETotal rollcall vote:285 yeas, (198 Democrats, 87 Republicans)
144 nays, (144 Republicans, 0 Democrats)
Area congress members:Yeas: Corrine Brown, Ander Crenshaw
Nays: Ron DeSantis, Ted Yoho, Jack Kingston

Northeast Florida's two freshmen Congressmen voted against the bill that passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday night Jacksonville's Republican representative voted with the majority to allow the federal government to reopen and the debt limit to be extended.

Hours after the vote, Rep. Ander Crenshaw was in Jacksonville, talking with people at the First Coast Defense Contractor's Expo who were directly impacted by the government shutdown.

"I think all the people that work in the defense field were impacted," Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw seemed to console many of those at the expo, and suggested he is committed to making sure they don't have to worry about another government shutdown in January.

"I didn't agree with all the tactics Republicans were using... but at the end of the day, we had a chance to vote to reopen the government... to make sure we didn't default on your national debt... and had chance to preserve the savings we've put in place over the past two years," Crenshaw said. "I thought that was important. That would have been my focus all along."

"The fact that we've extended our debt limit - we can function as a government," Crenshaw said. "But more importantly, we're going to spend those three months doing some fundamental structural changes ... dealing with entitlements, dealing with discretionary funding. And that's how we're going to get a handle on this debt, that is just way too much."

Rep. Corrine Brown Brown remained in Washington, but cast northeast Florida's other "yea" vote to end the government shutdown, something she called useless and unnecessary.

"I think what happened was the most irresponsible thing in the 22 years I've been in Congress," Brown said. "I mean there was no reason for the government shutdown."

Other reactions to Wednesday night's vote:

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida) made the following comment on the debt deal to end the government shutdown and avoid default:

“Thank goodness, not just for the thousands and thousands of Americans who have been hurting because of the disruption in government services, but thank goodness for our nation’s economic well-being.

“I’m relieved about this shutdown being over and certainly relieved that we have avoided a default of the financial integrity of this country, but this never should have happened in the first place. A couple of senators and a handful of House extremists have managed to embarrass America in front of the world.

“And with this government shutdown and coming right to the precipice on a default, they showed a lack of compassion but they also showed a lack of understanding about what it means to be a public official and what it means to represent and serve the interests of all, not just a few.

“A public office is a public trust. And no public servant should ever deny government services to people in need. No public servant should ever take his own country hostage to advance his own narrow, selfish ideology.

“So for now, we can breathe a sigh of relief. But this is going to crank up again, starting in December, January and February – the deadlines of this agreement. We just can’t keep continuing putting our country in situations like this. We’ve got to find a way, right soon, to govern ourselves without being at the mercy of a few partisan extremists. Congress has a responsibility to cast aside extremism and reach out to find common ground, reason and common sense. We owe no less to our people in this country."

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Florida) released the following statement after the House voted to extend the continuing resolution at current funding levels:

“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.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement:

“I’m relieved that the U.S. Senate worked together in a bipartisan manner to make it possible for us to reopen the government to serve all the American people and prevent a default on our debt.

“After 16 days of a government shutdown, at long last we figured out a way to put partisan politics aside in order to fund our government and pay our bills so that we can protect the full faith and credit of the United States.

“Looking ahead, it’s critical that we continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to replace the indiscriminate cuts of the sequester with a balanced plan. We must come together at the negotiating table to work out further compromise. That is what the American people elected us to do, and they are counting on us to do our jobs and figure out ways to make their lives better – so they can buy a house, send their kids to college, save for retirement, and count on a thriving and job-producing economy. This is our most basic responsibility so we can ensure the continued prosperity of the American people and our nation."

Congressman Ted Deutch released the following statement Wednesday night:

“Tonight, Congress may have prevented the United States from defaulting on its credit for the first time in history and brought an end to a reckless government shutdown, but to call this last-minute deal a victory for the American people would be shameful. Narrowly preventing a global financial crisis is nothing to be proud of, nor is there anything extraordinary about letting federal employees of the most powerful nation on earth do their jobs.

“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.”

Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) released the following statement after voting against a proposal put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) because he said it failed to address the nation's long-term spending problem:

“The drama of the government shutdown and the debt limit debate has served as a distraction from the real debate here. Our national debt is larger than the size of the entire American economy and government borrows forty-two cents for every dollar it spends. I opposed this proposal because it does nothing to check the growth of government or put our country on a more sustainable path.

“While I could not support this package, I remain committed to working with Democrats and Republicans alike to advance reforms that will free future generations from a life indebted to China. We must come together to ensure the next three months are used productively so we are not in this position again.”