Kansas senators split on debt vote

Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran diverged on the Senate’s 74-26 vote today to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Roberts voted for the package; Moran opposed it. Here’s their reasoning:

Roberts

Roberts: “My first priority in voting today was to ensure our country did not default, which could have sent our country into economic chaos at a time when our economy is already on the brink. I will never play roulette with Kansans’ life savings.

“This agreement protects Kansas families and businesses from an even greater economic crisis than we have already experienced while stopping proposed tax increases and cutting $2.4 trillion in run-away government spending.

“Had this agreement been mine to craft and pass alone, we’d have even greater spending cuts, but as Kansans saw over the last week, we could not achieve that with a Democrat-led Senate and the Obama White House.

“The battle to control spending is far from over. I view this debt ceiling debate as the opening salvo in an on-going effort to tighten the government’s fiscal belt.

“I will continue to fight for spending cuts, for debt reduction and against tax increases.  Today’s vote is just a first step toward regaining fiscal sanity in Washington.

“We’ll vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment this fall and we’ll continue the momentum we’ve achieved so far for greater spending cuts in every aspect of government so that your grandkids and mine can enjoy that same American dream.”

Moran

Moran: “Kansans have the right to know the truth. The truth is this plan does not offer a solution to the underlying problem of our crisis today: our government’s out-of-control spending. Even if fully enacted, it only slows the growth of spending, and that just barely. This plan will reduce spending by $21 billion next year. But given that we spend $4 billion more than we take in each day – those savings will disappear in less than a week.

“In March, I informed President Obama that I would not vote to raise the debt ceiling in the absence of substantial reductions in spending and structural changes to the way we do business in Washington, D.C. This plan does neither.

“Our national debt now stands at more than $14 trillion, but under this plan, our debt will continue to grow and will reach $22 trillion in ten years. Over the next three decades, our debt will become more than three times the size of our entire economy.

“This plan also ignores the stark warnings from credit rating agencies, which stated a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan would be necessary to prevent a downgrade in the U.S. credit rating.

“Unfortunately, business as usual continues in Washington today, and solving the problem was pushed off for yet another day. This plan might be considered a good ‘deal’ in Washington – but it is not good for the future of America.”