Late Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 81-18 and the House voted 285-144 to end the government shutdown that lasted 16 days — at least for now.
Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk voted to pass the measure, which raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and funds the government through Jan. 15. Illinois Democratic House members voted in favor of the bill as did 6th District Republican Congressman Peter Roskam.
Our representative, 14th District Republican Randy Hultgren, did not. He said why in a press release issued late Wednesday.
“The Senate and President have chosen to add $1 trillion to our debt for an agreement with no teeth, all the while ignoring our massive debt that threatens our economy and our future,” Hultgren said.
“The debt crisis is not make-believe, and I was not elected to stand by while we sacrifice our children’s future for short-term political gain. The national debt is racing past $17 trillion — that’s $54,000 a person on the hook for Washington’s insatiable appetite to spend taxpayer dollars. Not to mention Illinois residents face an additional $21,000 in state debt as the result of poor fiscal choices.
“Our country is facing a massive debt crisis. Medicare’s costs are exploding and Social Security is projected to be bankrupt by 2033. This is unsustainable if we are to protect these safety net programs for future generations. But instead of shrinking the growth of our entitlement system, we’re adding another enormous program — Obamacare — that adds $1 trillion in new taxes and a half a billion to the deficit in 10 years.
“It’s ridiculous to pay lip service to addressing our debt every few months and then do nothing. Procrastinating on our debt endangers our economic well-being.
“If we cannot address this problem now, after what this country has endured —then when?”