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Former Congressman: Expect Another Budget Crisis In January

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton says he does not expect many members of Congress to be willing to compromise before the current budget deal expires January 15.

Lee Hamilton

Photo: Bill Shaw

Lee Hamilton was a Congressman during the last government shutdown in 1995 and 1996.

Former Congressman Lee Hamilton says he is not hopeful Congress will be able to avoid another budget crisis when the current deal runs out in just three months.

The Indiana congressional delegation split its vote yesterday on the budget deal to fund the government through Jan. 15 and and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.

Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, and Dan Coats, R-Indiana, both voted in favor of the measure. So did Representatives Pete Visclosky, D-1st; Susan Brooks, R-5th; Andre Carson, D-7th; and Todd Young, R-9th.The rest of Indiana’s delegation—all Republicans—voted against the deal.

But the agreement only keeps the government funded until January, and Hamilton, who is the director of the Center on Congress at IU, says he doesn’t expect much to change the next time around.

“Every situation is a little bit different and it may be that the politicians will have drawn some lessons from this, but that remains to be seen. At this point, it would seem to me that we would be headed for another crisis.”

Hamilton says politicians should not try to score political points with self-made crises, and Hoosiers, whether Republican or Democrat, need to tell their representatives that doing so is unacceptable.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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