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Rokita opposes budget, debt ceiling bill; Coats and Donnelly vote for it

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN4) joined four other members of Indiana's congressional delegation in voting against the federal funding bill that also raises the debt ceiling. Senators Dan Coats (R-IN) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) were among the 81 members of the Senate who helped pass the bill Wednesday night.

Rokita released the following statement after the House passed the measure on a 285 to 144 vote:

“Any increase in the debt ceiling should be offset by real spending reform that puts our nation on track to a balanced budget and begins to pay down our national debt. This bill actually completes a full one-year extension of the debt ceiling without any reduction to our out-of-control spending and is yet another tax put on the children of tomorrow – all so we can have government give us more in the here and now. Congress had to consider this bad deal because the President and Harry Reid refused to reform or even acknowledge the severity of our fiscal problems. As the Budget Conference Committee goes forward, I hope we can have an intellectually honest discussion about the debt that sets aside the fear tactics and hysterics of the last few weeks. Our nation’s $17 trillion and growing debt is gravely dangerous to our economic security, our national security, and future generations.”

The legislation reopened the federal government, providing funding until January 15, 2014, and extended the statutory borrowing limit, or debt ceiling until February 7, 2014.

Coats issued this statement after voting for the legislation:

“I returned to public service to make the difficult choices necessary to tackle our debt and restore our country’s fiscal footing. To my great disappointment, once again Congress is kicking the can down the road and ignoring what needs to be done. “While I deplore supporting yet another short-term Band-Aid, the only thing worse would be a continued government shutdown, the United States defaulting on its debt obligations and the elimination of the spending reductions enacted by Congress in 2011. “I have voted for and will continue to support efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with common-sense health care reforms. It is evident to me that the present strategy has failed to sway the president or Senate Democrats. As we’ve seen from Obamacare’s disastrous rollout, this law’s failures are more than mere glitches, and the fight to repeal it must continue. “I am disappointed with this outcome, but my commitment to reducing our debt, growing the economy and getting Americans back to work will not waver. I will be an integral part of the ongoing effort to address our nation’s serious financial challenges.”

Donnelly held a news conference call with reporters prior to the vote in the Senate. He discussed his role as one of 14 senators from both parties who worked on a bipartisan framework that helped break the gridlock. 

“I have for the past few weeks been a part of a group of now 14 senators…6 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 7 Republicans who have met several times over the past couple of weeks to putting together a bipartisan framework to get the government operating and ensure we continue to pay our bills. This is about the jobs in Indiana, making sure we don’t have any interruptions in creating more jobs, about our families making ends meet. It’s about our economy. It’s about our nation’s reputation. “I think we need more people focused on what’s best for Indiana, what’s best for our nation, and less about what’s best in politics. This is not about Democrat, this is not about Republican, it’s about America. That’s what Hoosiers sent me here to do, and that’s what I have tried to do the past few weeks and since my first day in office.”