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What Indiana’s US reps say about debt limit bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday were split as the chamber OK’d a bill to raise the debt ceiling, beginning a process to avoid default on payments.

A roll call vote was unavailable from the clerk of the House at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday.

Of Indiana’s nine representatives, seven voted “yes,” one voted “no,” and one did not vote.

With the House vote of 314-117, the bill now heads to the Senate with passage expected by week’s end. A total of four representatives did not vote.

Rep. Greg Pence, of Columbus, voted “yes.” Prior to Wednesday night’s vote in the House on the measure, Pence told News 8’s Garrett Bergquist, “I don’t think this is what anybody is looking for, Garrett. I think everyone’s hearing that, everybody’s reporting that. It’s difficult. I actually got up early this morning and went to church just to pray about it. I’ve also reached out to my constituents all across my 11 counties to find out what they’re opinion of this is.”

Rep. Jim Banks, of Columbia City, planned to vote “no,” but instead did not vote at all. He also talked with News 8. “I can’t vote to raise the debt limit if significant reforms aren’t included that would bring down our national debt and this case, this is a debt limit deal that will raise the debt limit by $4 trillion and not make serious cuts that would send us down a fiscally responsible path. I voted against raising the debt limit many times before. I’ve been consistent on this front both when President (Donald) Trump was in office and with President (Joe) Biden in office.”

Banks had voted on other measures Wednesday, including one condemning anti-Semitism and the roll call immediately following the debt ceiling bill on Wednesday night.

Rep. Victoria Spartz, of Noblesville, voted “no.” She did not talk with News 8, but sent a statement Wednesday night before the House vote. “The fiscal state of our nation: over $30T ($30,000,000,000,000) of current debt, over $100T of obligations, over $6T spent annually with no real budgets, completely unauditable financials, hundreds of billions of improper payments, and a -$1.5T shortfall just in 2023, increasing to a -$2.8T annual shortfall by 2033. The so-called Fiscal Responsibility Act punts this issue till 2025 with a total enforceable (FY23-25) effect of less than $200B, and not even a discussion of our path forward. Why would we even bother coming to D.C. – we can do demagoguery from home or perform in a traveling circus instead?”

Rep. Jim Baird, of Covington, voted “yes.” He issued this statement shortly after voting. “Under President Biden, our deficit has grown by $6 trillion, and our debt has reached $31 trillion for the first time in U.S. history. While Congressional Democrats engaged in unprecedented spending sprees last Congress, hardworking Hoosiers paid the price with record-breaking inflation, supply chain shortages, and surging interest rates. House Republicans passed a debt ceiling solution over a month ago while we waited for the president to come to the table, and now that he has, we are once again ready to avoid a historic economic crisis by addressing the debt ceiling. My Republican colleagues and I never stopped fighting for the American people, and I believe this bill is an important first step in reining in Democrats’ unchecked spending and implementing guard rails that will save future generations from insurmountable debt. Though I am disappointed that we are once again faced with an 11th-hour deal, the consequences of defaulting on our national debt are too dire and I believe cutting the deficit by over $2 trillion is a strong down payment. My constituents deserve the economic certainty this legislation delivers, which is why I voted in favor of this bipartisan solution.”

Rep. Rudy Yakym, of Granger, voted “yes” and sent a statement after the bill’s approval by the House. “Today’s vote is an important first step towards stopping out-of-control, inflation-inducing spending and restoring fiscal responsibility in Washington. For months and months President Biden and congressional Democrats insisted they wouldn’t negotiate and would only agree to a clean debt-limit increase. This legislation proves them wrong. The Fiscal Responsibility Act puts a halt to President Biden’s reckless spending sprees and represents the largest spending cut in history. It also strengthens work requirements, cuts government red tape, and prevents the Biden Administration from hiring any new IRS enforcement agents this year. Washington did not amass nearly $32 trillion in debt overnight, and no single piece of legislation alone will solve our debt crisis, which is the greatest threat to our nation’s future. But this is a good start to changing our fiscal trajectory and the unsustainable spending culture in Washington. On the House Budget Committee I will continue fighting for solutions that get our fiscal house in order so our children and grandchildren can enjoy the same opportunities and grow up in an America as free and prosperous as the one that we did.”

Rep. Larry Bucshon, from Evansville, voted “yes” and sent a statement after the measure’s passage: “The Fiscal Responsibility Act is an important step towards changing the culture of spending in Washington. For far too long, Washington’s reckless debt-fueled spending addiction has been pushing our nation towards fiscal bankruptcy. Over the past two years, President Biden and Democrats in the House and Senate recklessly added trillions to our nation’s debt, setting off record high inflation rates and accelerating us down the path of fiscal insolvency. House Republicans are keeping our Commitment to America and that starts with this commonsense legislation. The Fiscal Responsibility Act will cut government spending, claw back more than $28 billion in COVID-19 funds, reform infrastructure permitting rules to cut government red tape, and slash funding for President Biden to add new IRS agents. While there is more work that House Republicans must do to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, this is the beginning and not the end of our efforts to change the culture of spending in Washington. I am proud to support this bill and look forward to getting it signed into law.”

A script from News 8 at 5 p.m. was used in creating this story.

News release