Thursday, October 17, 2013

Kansas congressional delegation splits on shutdown vote

The Lawrence Journal-World

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Up against a deadline, Congress passed and sent a waiting President Barack Obama legislation late Wednesday night to avoid a threatened national default and end the 16-day partial government shutdown, the culmination of an epic political drama that placed the U.S. economy at risk.

The Senate voted first, a bipartisan 81-18 at midevening. That cleared the way for a final 285-144 vote in the Republican-controlled House about two hours later on the legislation, which hewed strictly to the terms Obama laid down when the twin crises erupted more than three weeks ago.

The legislation would permit the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 or perhaps a month longer, and fund the government through Jan. 15.

More than 2 million federal workers would be paid — those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed.

After the Senate approved the measure, Obama hailed the vote and said he would sign it immediately after it reached his desk.

Early during the impasse, Kansas’ all-Republican congressional delegation supported efforts to make funding government contingent on de-funding the Affordable Care Act.

But on Wednesday, the members parted ways on legislation to raise the debt limit and reopen the government.

In the Senate, Jerry Moran voted for the legislation while Pat Roberts, who recently drew a tea party challenger in the 2014 GOP primary, voted against it. The measure passed in the Senate 81-18 with all 52 Democrats, 27 Republicans and two Independents voting for it, and 18 Republicans voting against it.

In the House, U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Topeka, whose district includes Lawrence, voted for the legislation, while Reps. Tim Huelskamp of Fowler, Mike Pompeo of Wichita and Kevin Yoder of Overland Park voted against it.

The measure passed in the House 285-144. Jenkins was one of 87 Republicans who voted for it.

After the vote, Jenkins tweeted, “We must have a commonsense conversation to address the failures of the president’s health care law and fix our broken budget process.”