Customarily, John Kline (R-MN-02) comments on the subject of voting to raise the debt ceiling … typically complaining that “there is not a single person in either party who says this is perfect” … and then issuing a statement explaining his “Raise the Debt Ceiling” vote
“Today, members of Congress were asked to make a difficult decision,” Kline said explaining his October 2013 vote. “Ultimately, I was not willing to put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk. Congress and the White House must put country first. The result was imperfect, but it was a temporary solution I believed was in the best interest of Americans.”
But yesterday, after the Treasury Department announced that the federal government will exhaust its borrowing capacity on February 27, 2014, thereby threatening national default if the issue is not addressed by Congress before that date, John Kline said NO and issued a press release.
Runaway federal spending, deficits, and debt are barriers to our economic recovery, and the exponential growth of the federal deficit threatens the future of our children and grandchildren. Our record-high debt is as much the result of failed leadership as it is failed policies that grew government instead of our economy and the Minnesotans I represent are demanding we change course.
The bill was passed … as Democrats along with a few responsible Republicans determined that it would be irresponsible at this — or any time — to risk the full faith and credit of the United States.
For example, Richard Hanna (R-NY-22) issued a press release explaining his YES vote :
I believe my constituents sent me to Washington to govern responsibly and not engage in petty politicking, so I look forward to resolving our serious fiscal problems in a thoughtful and productive way that allows us to stop borrowing from our children to spend on ourselves.
Gosh … what has happened since John Kline voted for the Ryan Budget Act in December when he said : “Given the climate that we’re in and everything that is happening, I think Paul Ryan did an excellent job, he managed to hit some very key points that are very important to a lot of Americans and certainly to a lot of Republicans. He did it without a tax increase; he did it with some long-term deficit reduction. I just think he did a really fine job.”
Mr. Kline knew in December that the debt ceiling would have to be raised when he voted to reduce the sequester cuts … so what has changed ?
Look at his Republican challenger, David Gerson’s website :
Since Kline’s First Trillion Dollar Vote in 2003 – He Has Tripled Our Debt!
H CON RES 95 Congressional Budget for FY 2004
Voted Yes – For a $1 trillion increase in the debt ceiling; raising it 15% from $6.4 trillion to $7.4 trillion.
S 2986 A Bill to Amend Title 31 of the United States Code to Increase the Public Debt Limit
Voted Yes – To raise the debt ceiling to $8.2 trillion.
H CON RES 95 Congressional Budget for FY 2006
Voted Yes – To raise the debt ceiling to $9.0 trillion.
HR 2419 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2007
Voted Yes – Overriding President Bush’s veto. President Bush stated, “this bill lacks fiscal discipline.”
HR 1424 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008
Voted Yes – To raise the debt ceiling to $11.3 trillion.
S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011
Voted Yes – For a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.
HR 325 No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013
Voted Yes – For unlimited borrowing for 4 months, raising the debt ceiling to $16.6 trillion.
HR 8 American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 – 2013
Voted Yes – For the “Fiscal Cliff” Deal, increasing taxes with no spending cuts.
HR 2775 Continuing Appropriations Act of 2014
Voted Yes – To raise the debt ceiling, increase spending, exempt Congress from Obamacare and send $2 billion to Mitch McConnell’s home state.
The answer is simple … John Kline’s vote is being dictated by David Garson … John Kline would rather risk default (which would cause interest rates to rise on everything from home mortgages to auto loans to credit cards, hurting working families and small businesses) and appease his Republican faithful, then working with Democrats to address America’s needs.
Chalk up a victory for David Gerson … and another loss for the Second District.
Funny thing is that David Gerson’s supporters will not be fooled … and neither should the voters on November 4, 2014.