Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 18, 2013

Michigan delegation split on vote to end shutdown

CRYSTAL FALLS. (AP) — Four of Michigan’s nine Republican U.S. House members and all five of its Democratic representatives voted in favor of legislation to avoid a federal debt default and end the 16-day government shutdown.

Michigan Democratic U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow both voted yes as the Senate approved the measure, 81-18.

Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, said he voted for the bipartisan compromise Wednesday night to “reopen the government and prevent the country from defaulting.

“Northern Michigan families deserve a government that’s open and running,” said Benishek, a first-term House member representing the Upper Peninsula and a large stretch of northern lower Michigan. “They also deserve to have their finances secure and not be put at risk by a government default.”

The House passed the proposal 285-144, with all 198 Democrats and 87 of 231 Republicans voting yes.

“I’m deeply concerned that a default could lead to higher interest rates and even a larger national debt,” Benishek said in a statement. We can’t let that happen. Moms and dads up here in Michigan shouldn’t be hurt just because Washington can’t get its act together.”

Other Michigan Republicans who voted yes were Dave Camp of Midland, Mike Rogers of Howell and Fred Upton of St. Joseph. No votes came from Republicans Justin Amash of Cascade Township, Kerry Bentivolio of Milford, Bill Huizenga of Holland, Candice Miller of Harrison Township and Tim Walberg of Tipton.

“While I am pleased that the government will now reopen and our nation will avoid defaulting on its obligations, I could not support a solution that did not provide fairness for the American people under Obama Care, and that also failed to take real action to deal with our nation’s long term debt and deficit,” Miller said in a statement.

The Democrats voting yes were Reps. John Conyers of Detroit, John Dingell of Dearborn, Dan Kildee of Flint, Sander Levin of Royal Oak and Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township.

“It’s time we return to dealing with the critical issues facing our country,” Kildee said. “Congress — and our country — cannot afford to continue lurching crisis-to-crisis, where ultimately, and unfortunately, my constituents and the American people lose.”

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