DesJarlais, Duncan vote no on budget deal; rest of TN delegation yes

U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais and John Duncan broke with the rest of Tennessee’s U.S. House delegation Thursday in voting no on the budget deal worked out by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray.

The bill passed 332-94 and now goes to the Senate, where it will be up for a vote next week.

Voting yes in the Tennessee delegation were both Democrats, Reps. Steve Cohen of Memphs and Jim Cooper of Nashville, along with Republican Reps. Diane Black, Marsha Blackburn, Stephen Fincher, Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe.

Some congressional comments are below. Full roll call vote HERE

From Reps. Scott DesJarlais and John Duncan by way of The Tennessean (which also reports that conservative groups are not happy with the vote):

“Not only does this budget deal fail to adequately address our nation’s debt and deficit, it trades real spending cuts for the promise of future reductions,” said DesJarlais, also part of the tea party wave of 2010. “Further, this bill raises taxes under the guise of increasing user fees. My constituents are adamantly opposed to the idea of sending more of their money to Washington to pay for further government expansion.”

Said Duncan: “I could not vote for a bill that increases spending by $63 billion when our national debt is more than $17 trillion dollars and climbing higher and faster than ever before.”

From Rep. Chuck Fleischmann
WASHINGTON− The House of Representatives has passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Following the vote, Congressman Fleischmann released the following statement.

“Tonight, the House took a modest step toward reforming spending and setting our government on a more stable path. This agreement maintains sequester savings while also reforming the mandatory spending which is driving our national debt. In fact, this bill has a $23 billion net deficit reduction and ensures we will not shut down the government in 2014.

“While this bill is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. For the first time since I have been in Congress, we will finally return to a regular appropriations process, an important step to ending the cycle of governing from crisis to crisis. I hope the Senate will quickly pass this bill so we can continue moving toward the real spending reform our nation so desperately needs.”

From Rep. Marsh Blackburn:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) issued the following statement today in support of the Budget Agreement approved by the House of Representatives.

“This agreement returns the power of the purse to Congress and allows us to take control of the budget process so we can begin to make permanent reforms to mandatory spending that will result in long term savings without raising taxes that President Obama wanted and needs to run his failed programs. It also achieves 100 percent of the Budget Control Act’s spending cuts and reduces the deficit by an additional $23 billion.

“Furthermore, the agreement reigns in waste, fraud and abuse by ending the permanent extension of unemployment benefits and putting a stop to government payments for prisoners and the deceased. Most importantly for our men and women in our military, the budget agreement will allow Congress and the Pentagon to return to regular order so we can better manage the cuts facing our military so that they will not damage our national security or vital installations like Fort Campbell. In addition, this bill ensures that our seniors will be able to continue to have access to their physicians and the care they deserve.”

From Rep. Diane Black:
Washington –Today,Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) issued the following statement upon House passage of the bipartisan budget agreement:

“While this budget agreement is far from perfect, I believe it is a step in the right direction,” said Congressman Black. “Despite demands from Democrats, this budget plan will reduce our deficit by $23 billion over current law without raising taxes. Also, it will restore needed certainty to our budgeting process by returning Congress to regular order. This means that we can stop governing from crisis to crisis and focus on promoting economic growth and protecting Americans from the disastrous effects of Obamacare.”

“In addition, this agreement protects our military from devastating cuts which will help make sure our troops have what they need to keep us safe. I wish that this agreement went further to rein in Washington spending, but until conservatives control both Chambers of Congress and the White House, we must act incrementally.

From Rep. Jim Cooper:
WASHINGTON—U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) today supported a House bill that will fund the government for the next two fiscal years, but stood firm in demanding a comprehensive budget solution for America’s long-term debt and deficit problems.

“This is a puny deal but it’s better than no deal at all,” Cooper said. “It shows that Congress can keep government open, but not fix our fundamental budget problems. I will keep working harder than ever on major reforms of Congress and American government.”

Earlier this week, Cooper sent a letter to Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan, budget committee chairmen for their respective chambers. Joining leadership of the Blue Dog Coalition and three moderate Republicans, Cooper called for a deal “that solves our fiscal problems.”

Last year, Cooper and former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) offered the only bipartisan budget on the House floor. It was based on principles outlined by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
TheCooper-LaTourette budget would trim the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and replace the infamous, across-the-board sequestration cuts with a comprehensive, balanced plan for deficit reduction. It would put America’s debt-to-GDP ratio on a downward trajectory, decreasing to 67.9 percent in 2022.

The effort was supported bymajor budget and fiscal watchdog groups. It was endorsed by newspapers across the country and hailed as “brave” by the USA Today.