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Shutdown Ends: How the PA Delegation Voted

Mike Kelly portrait
Rep. Mike Kelly often sides with GOP conservatives, but voted in favor of the compromise bill.

The shutdown is over and the debt ceiling has been raised. After 16 grueling days of stalemate and widespread frustration, a Senate-crafted compromise passed through Congress and will be signed by the President.

Republicans who were using the budget fight to gain leverage on defunding Obamacare were left all but empty handed. Other than a minor provision that tightens income verification rules under Obamacare, Democrats were not forced to give up any of the items that the GOP was aiming for.

The government will be funded until January 15; the debt limit increased through February 7.

In the Senate, the bill had overwhelming support, passing 81-18. Bob Casey voted yes, while Pat Toomey voted no.

“I hope this experience will help change the tone in Washington and that members on both sides of the aisle will refocus their efforts on creating jobs and strengthening the economy,” Casey chastened in a statement.

Toomey said he voted no because, while he supported reopening the government, he opposed raising the debt limit.

“I disagreed with the plan to make funding the government contingent on defunding Obamacare and I am glad this bill will get the shutdown behind us,” he said. “But I cannot support piling hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on current and future generations of Americans without even a sliver of reform to start putting our fiscal house in order.”

The House passed the bill 285 to 144. All Democrats voted yes, including the 5 from Pa.

Republicans opposed the bill 144 to 87, although 9 of 13 House Republicans from Pa. also voted yes.

‘Yes’ votes included the four eastern Pa. moderates, Reps. who had called for a ‘clean’ CR: Charlie Dent, Mike Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach and Pat Meehan.

Also voting yes were five Republicans who frequently vote with the conservative contingent of the GOP: Reps. Lou Barletta, Mike Kelly, Tim Murphy, Bill Shuster and GT Thomspon.

Four Pa. conservatives joined Toomey in voting against the bill: Reps. Tom Marino, Scott Perry, Joe Pitts and Keith Rothfus.

“At a time when far too many Americans continue to struggle to find work and make ends meet, this bill eliminates the serious risk of greater economic chaos. Chaos that threatened to wipe out retirement savings for middle-class families and make it even harder for businesses of all sizes to hire and grow,” said Gerlach in a press release.

National polls showed that the shutdown disproportionately impacted public opinion of Republicans, and it’s sure to be a campaign issue in 2014 and beyond.

To wit, the Pa. Democratic Party blasted Toomey over his vote.

“Tea Party Pat Toomey has once again shown his true colors by leading the most extreme wing against a policy to reopen the government and help hundreds of thousand of middle class Americans,” said spokesman Marc Eisenstein.

7 Responses

  1. I can’t , it’s just too funny: Keith takes the debt issue seriously. Har. That wimpy dumbell Keith Roffus goes on TV and says we MUST end this shutdown, no we wont default….excuse me while I go vote to default and maintain the shutdown… Ok, now where was I? Oh right – yes, we simply must end the shutdown and we just can’t default …..
    Ah Keith, we’re gonna miss your zany antics !

  2. The only “principle” that Toomey adheres to is to be a puppet of the Club for Growth – as this vote shows. He’d rather crash the economy than participate in actual budget negotiations. I would LOVWE for him to run for Governor! Run, Pat, Run!

  3. As for the 5 “moderates” (NOT) who voted YES this time, they only did so because they knew the bill would pass, and they know they are in moderate districts, trending Democratic, so this is just to try to save their seats. Hopefully we will remember in 2014 that they initially voted NO which caused the shutdown in the first place

  4. The typical comments posted so far help explain exactly what the problem is. Name calling and party marginalization does not address the fact that we are spending the next generations wealth. Unless you are a name caller and partisan you comprehend that both Toomey and Rothfus take the challenge of addressing the debt seriously and are trying to do something about it. If you don’t like their tactics please be adult enough to explain how you would address robbing the next generation.

  5. I think Toomey just answered the Corbett doubters as to his decision about running for Governor. Not a vote you make if you want to face the electorate within the year.

  6. Okay”regular guy” Tea Party Keith, what say you? The jihad that you and the right-wing Taliban orchestrated cost the economy $20 billion. Are you happy now?

  7. Pat Toomey is a man of principle. That trait will cost him his seat. After Corbett loses, Toomey will be the last one standing and he goes down in ’16. The Republican Party in Pennsylvania has imploded due to its inept leadership.

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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