Thursday, January 16, 2014

UPDATE: Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva Explains Why He Was 1 Of Only 3 Democrats To Vote No On "Austerity" Budget

As the Senate is (sporadically*) debating the $1.1 Trillion spending plan to prevent another government shutdown this morning, Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) is explaining to Arizona's Politics why he was one of only three Democrats to vote against the omnibus measure in the House yesterday afternoon.  The Tucson Representative believes that it "reaffirms bad policy we already know has done more harm than good. Austerity hasn’t worked, and this is austerity-lite at best."

Grijalva joined Arizona's four Republican Representatives in standing against the measure, which was approved in the House by a vote of 359-67.  It is expected to pass in the Senate and be signed by the President.

Here is the entire response Rep. Grijalva gave Arizona's Politics to explain his vote:
“The omnibus, from what I’ve seen, reaffirms bad policy we already know has done more harm than good. Austerity hasn’t worked, and this is austerity-lite at best. I don’t see this bill making enough economic progress given the demand for jobs out there. I’m also concerned about several onerous riders, including the Yucca Mountain and Guantanamo provisions, and I’m glad I voted no.”
Of course, Arizona's Republican Representatives voted "nay" for different reasons.  Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4) listed several reasons he voted against the "massive spending bill".  Primarily, he cited that it would increase spending and "balloon the national debt."

Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) released a statement explaining that he voted "aye" because it stands up for southern Arizona's priorities "like curbing the negative impact of sequestration cuts that have harmed our community and our military readiness and preserving the promises made to the men and women who have served our nation in the military.  This bill also will fund Mental Health First Aid training for thousands of Americans, which I have been fighting for since I took office more than 1½ years ago.”

* the debate is "sporadic" and is being interspersed with Arizona Senator John McCain and a couple of his colleagues discussing the recent Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the Benghazi embassy killings.

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