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The Budget Control Act may have cleared Congress, but despite bipartisan support (although somewhat grudgingly) for the legislation's passage, in total 85 Republicans voted against the bill (19 Senators and 66 Representatives).
Unimpressed with the proposal's key provisions, here's a look at what a number of congressional Republicans had to say about why they voted 'no':
This debt deal doesn't solve anything, it puts America at risk. At the end of his four-year term, Obama will be responsible for nearly $6 trillion in new debt. More than any other president. Washington's debt deal doesn't change our course, it taps the brakes as we speed toward a fiscal cliff.
I opposed the final vote because it falls significantly short of what is needed to address the severity of this fiscal crisis. For months I have been saying a credible must include at least $4 trillion over a decade and a commitment to restructure entitlements and our tax code. This bill only cuts as little as $2.1 trillion over 10 years and most of these reductions don't occur til years down the road.
I am pleased that a default has been avoided as a result of the vote tonight. However, I was unable to support this legislation because, after a careful reading of the bill, I fear it could ultimately result in devastating and unjustified cuts to our national security. This bill, unlike previous proposals I supported, has a weak firewall against potentially destructive defense cuts. To be sure, there are savings to be found in the Pentagon’s budget, and I have already voted this year to trim wasteful and unnecessary defense spending. But this bill goes much too far. The legislation would use our defense budget as an insurance policy to guarantee savings in the event that the special joint committee, which this legislation creates, fails to achieve cuts in other areas of the government bureaucracy.
[T]his compromise did not take enough steps towards ensuring a stable economic future in order to earn my vote. The short-term spending reductions in the bill were insufficient, I believe the Balanced Budget Amendment should be mandated, and I have concerns with lingering questions regarding defense cuts.
Despite my decision on this particular vote, I am pleased with the direction we are moving the debate, and want to thank the American people for supporting the principles of Cut, Cap, and Balance. I will continue the fight to reign in spending, reform our tax code, and get the government out of the way of our job creators.
Despite having pledged to the American people an open and transparent process and despite having months to fix this problem, we were asked to vote in the 11th hour for a bill that the public had less than 16 hours to read and understand. The culture of fiscal irresponsibility may not have been created by this Congress, but we were sent here to put an end to it; I'm afraid this bill does not rise to that occasion.
I cannot support this plan because it fails to actually solve our debt problem, fails to diminish the risk of a credit rating downgrade and is not a long-term solution to avert a debt crisis.
The Congress voted again to continue funding the President’s reckless spending and financial irresponsibility. The President and Congressional Democrats have played games, used scare tactics, and offered ‘schemes’ not solutions to Washington’s spending problem. While I did not support the plan put forth today, the House has put forth three plans and the President has failed to put any plan on the table. America needs a permanent fix to Washington’s spending problem and today the co-sponsorship of the Mack Penny Plan has reached a new high of fifty-six Members of Congress, and I expect many others to join the effort during the August recess.
[M]y great reservation that compels me to oppose this bill is that we are undermining the one thing most vital to ending the debt crisis looming over us: accountability.
The new normal in Washington has become panic-driven 11th hour votes in which Members are told to fall into line before pandemonium ensues. This is no way to run the Congress or to run the government.
I fear we are relinquishing our responsibility as Senators.
I voted against the plan because it delays meaningful spending reductions, fails to address entitlement spending in a way that will save the programs for future generations of retirees, and leaves open the possibility of tax increases.
In fact, the White House said yesterday it will seek to increase taxes in the second part of the deal. Tax increases are the wrong answer for a struggling economy, and recent history proves that higher taxes don’t go to the bottom line. Instead, they’re a license for Washington to spend even more. Since World War II, for every dollar in new taxes, the government has spent $1.17.
Unfortunately, the debt ceiling deal...does nothing to deal with the path of our government's unsustainable deficit spending. For fiscal year 2012, this legislation will only cut two-tenths of 1 percent of total spending. Not only will our debt grow each year under this plan, it will continue to grow even as a percentage of our economy. Finally, I am concerned that the long-term cuts over the next decade will not materialize. All Congress has to do to override this bill's spending restraints in the future is pass another law that overrides them. If Congress is truly serious about cutting spending, it would mandate serious spending cuts in next year's budget - the only year in which cuts are actually guaranteed.
I respect the effort by all involved to reach a compromise, but this agreement simply does not make the long-term, structural changes necessary to rebuild our economy. Congress has again shied away from making the tough decisions necessary to seriously address our nation’s need for fiscal health and economic growth. Twice I have voted in favor of forward-looking plans that would prevent tax increases, protect Social Security and Medicare and require Congress to send a Balance Budget Amendment to the States.