Montana's Congressmen React to Debt Ceiling Agreement
Crisis averted, no default, federal checks can go out Wednesday as usual. Tuesday afternoon, President Obama signed an extension of the debt ceiling soon after it passed the Senate.
But the deficit drama is not over and the next act could mean tax hikes. Montana's lone Congressman, Denny Rehberg, didn't follow the recommendation of the GOP leadership on the debt ceiling package.
The congressman voted no. “Well, it was a bipartisan opposition as well as bipartisan support. It was all over the board and so I think the people of Montana sent me back there to use my judgment to make the best decision. And I think ultimately this is full of a lot of sleight of hand and a lot more gimmicks, most of the savings are in the out years which means it's a ten year package and most of them will occur ten years from now, we'll see if the Congress ever gets around to doing it,” Rehberg says.
Senator Jon Tester voted for Tuesday’s bill. He says the bipartisan plan avoids economic default and makes real spending cuts without raising taxes.
Tester says the debate has shown the worst of Washington and "real problems require tough votes not politics-as-usual excuses."
"For months, businesses and seniors and veterans have been talking to me about giving some certainty to the government. The vote that we just took will add to that certainty and it'll also stop this country from going into default. This bill is a step in the right direction but, make no mistake about it, we've got a long ways to go to continue to work towards fiscal responsible government," he says.
Tester supports the bipartisan "gang of six" proposal to fix the debt crisis. He says the plan is a long-term solution to close tax loopholes for the wealthy and to preserve Medicare and Social Security.