As the U.S. Senate voted 74-26 today to approve the debt ceiling bill to avoid a government default, U.S. Sen Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, was among those who voted against the Budget Control Act.
Here's what she said after the vote:
“I strongly believe America must reduce its debt and rein in federal spending. Earlier this week, I supported over $2 trillion in spending cuts without additional revenues, and last December I voted to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that are blowing a hole in the deficit. However, I do not believe this proposal is a fair, well thought out, or balanced deal for our fragile economy or the millions of middle class families struggling to make ends meet.
“The fact is, there is nothing in this deal that will address the significant jobs crisis we are facing. This deal, cut behind closed doors with zero transparency, is an unbalanced approach that cuts deeply into discretionary spending while being overwhelmingly stacked in favor of large corporations who exploit loopholes and the wealthiest among us. It is simply not in the best interests of the middle class and the larger economic recovery.
“I have not been in Washington long, but long enough to know it is broken. As I travel across New York, the people I meet are focused entirely on jobs and economic security for their families. Congress should take this charge as its own. I will continue to look for bipartisan ways to reduce the debt in a responsible way and create jobs in this struggling economy. The truth is, today we could have gone further in reducing America’s debt with a sensible compromise that both cut discretionary spending and raised revenues. It is unfortunate Congress missed that opportunity.”
In a statement this afternoon, President Obama applauded today's Senate vote. He has approved the deal.
"This compromise guarantees more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction. It’s an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means," Obama said. "Yet it also allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs, and assures that we’re not cutting too abruptly while the economy is still fragile."
U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, said he fought to prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. "...the bill contains none of those," Schumer said.
“Of greatest importance is that Democrats and Republicans came together to avoid default," Schumer said. "Had we defaulted on our debt we could have risked another recession and thousands more would have lost jobs. Unfortunately, our effort to close tax loopholes for corporate jets and yachts and companies that ship jobs overseas did not succeed but we'll continue to make the case."