House members explain decisions for, against debt ceiling legislation

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The debt ceiling battle ended Tuesday. The Senate approved a bipartisan plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling and to make sweeping spending cuts the day of the deadline. President Obama swiftly signed the controversial legislation into law following the Senate's vote.

The House passed the legislation Monday night. The controversial new legislation split the ranks of House Democrats and Republicans with one in four GOP leaders saying no.

Representative Mike Pence and Democrat Andre Carson explained their votes for and against the legislation following the decision.

"I believed that there should be no tax increases," Pence told a crowd of press gathered at Indianapolis Airport. "We should match any increase in the debt ceiling, dollar for dollar, with spending cuts," he said.  "I also believe the time has come for a vigorous debate on a balanced budget amendment to the constitution."

The plan immediately raised the debt ceiling, allowing the Federal Government to borrow money to pay its bills. The plan also calls for $2.1 trillion in cuts over the next decade. It sets up a 12-member committee that will decide how those cuts will be made.

"If they're not accepted somehow by Congress, triggers are in place," said Bill Reiber, Butler University Economist. "The two triggers are big cuts in defense spending automatically, and in Medicare, not for recipients, but for providers."  

Democratic Congressman Andre Carson said the plan doesn't ask big business and the wealthiest Americans to contribute anything and he said he's concerned the triggers give Republicans too much leverage.  

"Republicans just need to refuse to compromise again to inflict devastating cuts on working people and undermine the solvency of Medicare," Carson said.

Rieber said the new law takes care of the debt ceiling crisis which could have lead to another recession but the jury's still out on the rest of it.

"The real crisis is in the job market," he said.  "I mean, we're not getting much in the way of growth in the economy.  Maybe this will spur it, maybe it will push it back some because we're cutting spending.  It's just unclear."  

Rieber said what you will see after the passage of the law is business as usual. In other words, Social Security recipients will continue to receive their checks, Medicare patients will continue to get their support, and government employees will still hang onto their jobs.

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