TN delegation split on budget shutdown vote

Congress sent President Obama legislation on Wednesday to prevent a government shutdown and keep federal agencies funded through Dec. 11. The House vote was 277-151; the Senate approved 78-20. All no votes were by Republicans.

In the Tennessee delegation, all seven House Republicans voted no. The state’s two Democratic congressmen, Steve Cohen and Jim Cooper, voted yes. So did Republican U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander. (Note: Roll Call vote HERE.)

Some congressional comments:

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City:
“The allegations against Planned Parenthood – an organization that receives around $500 million in government funding each year – are deeply troubling. It is absolutely shameful that House and Senate Democrats refuse to provide transparency for taxpayers by temporarily defunding this organization so Congress can conduct a fair and thoughtful investigation into these horrific claims. I believe this debate is too important to delay until December. Now that the House and Senate have acted, I hope we will move swiftly to fully investigate Planned Parenthood.”

Rep. John Duncan, R-Knoxville
“While I am very opposed to the $528 million for Planned Parenthood, for me this vote was much more about overall excessive spending than it was about any one particular appropriation.”

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Chattanooga
“It is a shame that this fight had to occur under the shadow of a government shutdown but we absolutely must protect life. Our most precious gift is that of life and I will continue to fight for the rights of the unborn. It is my hope that in the future we can return to regular order by passing appropriations measures and move away from these short-term funding resolutions.”

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-South Pittsurgh
“Tonight I voted against a short-term spending bill that once again fails to address our nation’s more than $18 trillion debt. In fact, this so called ‘clean’ Continuing Resolution contains an additional $20 billion in budgetary gimmicks and continues funding for President Obama’s often unconstitutional and radical policies. As the Representative for Tennessee’s Fourth District, I swore to uphold the constitution and will continue to fight for a balanced budget that protects the economic stability of our country.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Brentwood
“This CR allows for President Obama’s illegal executive amnesty actions to continue, allows sanctions on Iran to be lifted, spends less on defense than the House voted to, and continues to send taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.

“It is clear through the investigative work we have done so far that Planned Parenthood does not need or deserve the taxpayer money it is receiving. Women have hundreds of alternative options when it comes to their healthcare and the majority of taxpayers agree they would rather have these funds directed towards Community Health Centers than subsidizing Planned Parenthood’s abortion business.

“Today was a critical step in standing firm for fiscal responsibility, defending life and protecting our nation.”

Press release from Sen. Bob Corker:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today voted for legislation to temporarily fund the government while adhering to the spending constraints put in place by the Budget Control Act.

“The American people expect us to honor the commitments we made to restrict spending when we passed the Budget Control Act in 2011, and this bill maintains that commitment,” said Corker. “Between now and December, I will be pushing back against any efforts that do not continue to honor our spending promises and believe meaningful fiscal reforms should be enacted that will make our country stronger.”

Corker also voted last week to defund Planned Parenthood while redirecting those funds to other health care centers that can provide services for women. By a vote of 47-52, the legislation failed to receive the 60 votes necessary to advance.

“While it is extremely disappointing there were not enough votes for sensible legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and redirected those funds to other federally-qualified health centers and rural clinics, I will continue to work with my colleagues to hold Planned Parenthood accountable,” added Corker. “The Senate Judiciary Committee will be thoroughly investigating the deeply disturbing practices of this organization to uncover any violations of our laws.”