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Indiana Senators, Reps Split On Vote To Reopen Government

Congress is in a deadlock over the budget, which must be passed by midnight to avoid a government shutdown.

Update 10:50 p.m.

The House of Representatives has voted to approve the Senate budget deal, 288-144, effectively ending the government shutdown.

Indiana’s representatives were split in their votes.

Reps. Jackie Walorski, R-2nd; Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd; Todd Rokita, R-4th; Luke Messer, R-6th; and Larry Bucshon, R-8th, voted against the bill.

Reps. Pete Visclosky, D-1st; Susan Brooks, R-5th; Andre Carson, D-7th; Todd Young, R-9th, voted for the measure.

Bucshon said he does not believe the U.S. should default on its payment, but he could not support the legislation.

“This legislation is merely the byproduct of a dysfunctional, Democrat-run Washington, D.C. that would rather kick the can down the road than work on serious solutions,” he said in a statement. “I will not leave our children and grandchildren with crippling debt because President Obama and Senate Democrats refuse to tackle our fiscal challenges.”

Young acknowledged there are still many issues that must be worked out before the next deadline in January but said the deal creates a framework for immediately dealing with the budget.

“We must commit ourselves to avoiding the constant cycle of brinksmanship by working across party lines to address issues like job creation, stagnant personal incomes, our unsustainable national debt, and rising healthcare costs—and we must do that as soon as the current stalemate is resolved, not when we’re facing the next deadline,” he said in a statement, going on to list a number of issues, including repeal of the medical device tax and addressing the definition of full-time employment in the Affordable Care Act, that he says needs to be addressed.

Original Post

The Senate has approved a deal that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid a default.

In a conference call earlier today, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, explained the deal will fund the government through Jan. 15, and raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.

When the bill was brought up for a vote, Donnelly, who was a part of the bipartisan group that formed the deal, voted in favor of the measure.

“This is about the jobs in Indiana, making sure we don’t have any interruptions in creating more jobs, about our families making ends meet,” Donnelly said  earlier in the day. “It’s about our economy. It’s about our nation’s reputation.”

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, also voted yes on the bill, but not without expressing disappointment.

“While I deplore supporting yet another short-term Band-Aid, the only thing worse would be a continued government shutdown, the United States defaulting on its debt obligations and the elimination of the spending reductions enacted by Congress in 2011,” he said in a statement. “I have voted for and will continue to support efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with common-sense health care reforms.”

As NPR reports, conservative House Republicans had insisted that any bill funding the government or lifting the debt ceiling also defund or delay the Affordable Care Act.

Faced with the potential of a severe economic fallout and an unyielding opposition in the Democratically-controlled White House and Senate, Speaker of the House John Boehner relented, today.

“We fought the good fight, we just didn’t win,” Boehner told Cincinnati station WLW-AM. In a statement, he said while his party will continue to fight against Obamacare, Republicans would not block passage of the agreement crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In other words, Boehner will allow the bill to receive an up or down vote and hope that a coalition of Democrats and Republicans can make up the 217 votes needed to send the bill to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

It’s unclear at what time the House will vote on the bill.

But several Indiana representatives have already made known how they plan to vote on the bill. Howey Politics reports Reps. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd; and Luke Messer, R-6th will vote no.

Bucshon, R-Newburgh, also said he will vote no, even thought he is against default. “I firmly believe the United States should not default on its payments and I have worked to avoid the prospect of default; however, I could not support this legislation,” Bucshon said, adding, “This legislation is merely the byproduct of a dysfunctional, Democrat-run Washington, D.C. that would rather kick the can down the road than work on serious solutions.”

Messer, R-Shelbyville and leader of the freshman class, said in a statement, “I will be voting against the Senate plan. The bill does little to protect the American people from Obamacare or to protect our children and grandchildren from inheriting a mountain of debt. Nonetheless, I am glad to see the shutdown ending. It’s time to get people back to work and time for Congress to move forward.”

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