Johnson, McKinley split on debt vote

WHEELING – Stating the legislation failed to offer “any protection from the abuses, expenses and overreach of Obamacare,” Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, voted against the Wednesday compromise that will increase the debt ceiling and put federal employees back to work.

Fellow Republican House member David McKinley of West Virginia, however, voted for the bill, citing a need to end “partisan bickering” in the nation’s capital.

“While I would prefer a plan that makes more substantial reforms to grow the economy, address our excessive spending and fix the broken health care law, this agreement will allow us to move forward,” McKinley said.

“Until Republicans control the White House and the Senate, we simply will not be able to repeal or defund Obamacare,” McKinley added.

This, however, did not prevent Johnson from opposing the legislation, as he called it a “complete failure.”

“The American people have had to tighten their belts in this weak economy, and Washington should be forced to do the same. The fact that there are no spending cuts in this legislation means that Washington continues to demand more from the American taxpayers, but refuses to put itself on any kind of budget. And, that is not fair.”

In supporting the compromise, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-Charleston, said simply, “It is time to reopen the government, and it is clearly not in our country’s best interests to default on our debts.”

“I am pleased that our leaders could put politics aside and come together in a bipartisan way to reach a deal that reopens the government and prevents a first-ever default on our debt,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., warned fellow legislators against waiting until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling in the future.

“We’re going to find ourselves in this same situation before long, so they need to be prepared to act differently. This reckless behavior is unsustainable, and it’s no way to seriously run a government,” he said.

“Today’s bipartisan plan will end the shutdown, and prevent the catastrophic consequences associated with the U.S. failing to pay its bills,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he was glad see “weeks of Washington dysfunction” come to an end, but hopes reductions in government spending can become a reality.

“This is a win for the American people,” Portman added. “Now that Congress has temporarily avoided this economic crisis, I am hopeful that President Obama will stick to his promise and come to the table.”