The Senate has voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling for three months in an effort to avoid defaulting on its public debt.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin voted against the bill and in a statement released Thursday said this is just another time Congress has failed to address the nation’s financial challenges.
“Pretending that we aren’t accumulating more debt by the minute is irresponsible, reckless and unethical,” said Manchin. “We must deal with our out of control debt right here, right now,”
In his statement, Manchin added that the country will never be able to move forward until the broken ways of Washington are fixed.
“We need to find a commonsense pathway toward fixing our long-term spending and debt problems, and I am committed to fixing our long-term finances so we don’t cripple our next generation,” said Manchin.
U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, however, voted for the bill and in his own statement called it the responsible thing to do.
“It isn’t about spending; it’s about paying the bills we already have,” said Rockefeller. “Rather than holding our economy hostage and waiting until the last minute, we now have the assurance that we can honor our current obligations and avoid the risk of downgrading our nation’s credit rating again.”
In his statement, Rockefeller said if the ceiling was not raised, the economy would grow weaker, American jobs would have taken a hit, people’s retirement savings would be hurt and interest rates on loans and credit cards would have went up.
Rockefeller adds that the bill also protects Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security in the short term.
“Congress has taken strong steps to reduce the deficit and restore our fiscal solvency,” said Rockefeller. “We will do more. But it’s deeply important for every American that we avoid defaulting on our current responsibilities and seriously damaging our economy.”
The bill passed the Democratic controlled Senate by a 64-34 vote. It will now go to President Obama, who has said he will sign it. The Republican led House passed the legislation last week.