As the long day rolled to a close, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert put it this way: “Finally, we have more or less come together.”
Members of the Washington state delegation said the bill wasn’t perfect, but they largely fell in line Monday and joined a rare show of bipartisanship. The House voted to pass a historic plan to cut federal deficits by $2.1 trillion over the next decade and raise the debt ceiling.
In the end, seven of nine House members from the state – four Republicans and three Democrats – backed the legislation, which averted a federal default. Democratic Reps. Adam Smith of Tacoma and Jim McDermott of Seattle opposed the bill.
When the action moves to the Senate today, both of the state’s Democratic senators intend to vote yes.
While the bill passed by a comfortable margin in the House, it had plenty of opposition. Many conservatives said it didn’t reduce spending enough. Many liberals complained it would hurt the poor. Most everyone said they had no choice but to vote yes.
“This was the responsible vote because default, the alternative, was inconsiderable,” said Democratic Rep. Norm Dicks of Belfair.
Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell both said they will vote for the bill, even though Murray said it was not ideal.
“It is a vote to avoid an economic blow that would be felt across the globe, including in the lives, homes and finances of nearly every Washington state family,” said Murray of Shoreline.Freshman Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Camas said she voted for the bill partly because it “addressed D.C.’s habit of overspending.”
“This agreement signals the first time in modern U.S. history we have come to an agreement that cuts spending – more than $2 trillion – without taxes,” she said.