Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today voted to re-open the federal government, avoid default on our nation’s debt, and preserve the historic spending cuts Republicans have won in Congress over the last three years.
"There has to be a way to address our nation’s fiscal problems without making them worse in the process,” says Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson
While acknowledging his vote in favor of the bill might be unpopular with some of his constituents, Simpson said the potential economic consequences of continued stalemate outweighed any political consideration.
“The easiest, most politically expedient thing for me to do would have been to vote NO and protect my political right flank,” said Simpson. “Doing so, however, would have been the wrong thing to do for my constituents and our economy. My vote today was about the thousands of people facing layoffs at INL, the multitude of businesses across Idaho that have told me their livelihoods are at stake, and the millions of folks across the country who can’t afford the devastating impacts of default on their investments and retirements. There has to be a way to address our nation’s fiscal problems without making them worse in the process. That is the result I will continue working toward during the time we’ve afforded ourselves with today’s agreement.”
Simpson also suggested that he doesn’t expect the ongoing controversy over the implementation of Obamacare to subside with this agreement.
“The fight over Obamacare may now move to another venue, but the fight is far from over,” said Simpson. “While I strongly believe we should continue working to delay the entire law for one year, I also tend to believe that Obamacare may collapse of its own weight. I don’t think it will work. I don’t believe it will contain costs. I don’t believe it will improve access. And I certainly don’t believe that it can survive the scrutiny it is sure to receive once it is fully implemented and its impacts are fully realized. At that point, Republicans may have a much stronger hand.”
Simpson made clear in his reaction to the vote that while the compromise bill was far from ideal, the consequences of a continued stalemate were costing Idahoans their jobs and putting an unnecessary strain on our economy. He also stressed that Congress must now turn its focus to a more long-term solution to our nation’s budget crisis.
“This bill, while far from perfect, preserves the progress Republicans have made in reducing spending and moving toward a balanced budget. This bill, while far from perfect, ensures thousands of people in eastern Idaho won’t lose their jobs at INL. This bill, while far from perfect, ends the uncertainty for Idaho businesses that have been impacted by the shutdown and are terrified of default. This bill, while far from perfect, gives Congress the time to approach our budget challenges in an honest, collaborative, comprehensive, and enduring way over the next few months. I am deeply hopeful that we will now look toward a grand bargain, or ‘big’ solution that includes spending cuts, tax reform, and entitlement reform. The American people understand that doing so will require tough decisions, difficult sacrifices, and political courage. I am ready to face those tough decisions and I hope a majority of my colleagues in the House and Senate are ready to do so as well,” said Simpson.