How They Voted: SC's Clyburn, Graham only yea votes in debt deal - - Columbia, South Carolina |

How They Voted: SC's Clyburn, Graham only yea votes in debt deal

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Congress and President Barack Obama ended a two-week standoff that saw a partial government shutdown and the country tip-toe close to the edge of a default on the nation's credit.

The bill, which was literally passed at the 11th hour late Wednesday night, raises the country's debt limit until Feb. 7, 2014 and reopens the government and funds it until Jan. 15, 2014.

But how did South Carolina's elected officials vote on the plan? Only two of them voted for the final bill: Rep. James Clyburn and Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The rest voted against the legislation.

Here are South Carolina's congressmen in their own words on why they did or did not vote on the bill.

Congressman James Clyburn: "I am pleased the House is voting tonight on the bipartisan Senate compromise legislation to re-open the government, put people back to work, and pay the nation's bills on time and in full.  Going forward, we must get beyond the repeated episodes of partisan brinksmanship that have been so costly to our country.  It is my sincere hope that this Congress will learn from this needless, manufactured crisis and work together to reach common sense solutions to our nation's challenges and pass sound economic policies that create good jobs at good wages for hardworking people."

Congressman Joe Wilson: "Prior to and during the government shutdown, I voted in favor of multiple pieces of legislation to keep the government functioning and protect our fragile economy from default.  I am disappointed that I could not support tonight's legislation because it did not reflect my core beliefs of limited government and expanded freedom.  Congress has a long road ahead of us in the coming months and I remain committed to fighting for a better future for all of the constituents I have the privilege of representing in South Carolina's Second Congressional District."

Congressman Mick Mulvaney: "We tried. We lost," said Mulvaney at a conservative conference on Wednesday morning. His comments were published in the Washington Post.

Congressman Tom Rice: "During my campaign, I made a promise to you and your family that I would not vote for a debt ceiling increase that did not address the financial problems crippling our country. Last night, the government was hours away from hitting its debt ceiling and weeks away from running out of money to pay our country's bills. Instead of addressing our financial problems, Congress put forth a bill that merely postpones another fiscal calamity. Therefore, I could not support this bill because it allows the government to run up our nation's credit card, ignore the ballooning cost of our entitlement programs, and does not make America more competitive."

Congressman Jeff Duncan: "I voted against the agreement reached by Senate Republican and Democratic leaders to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling because it did not do enough to address the real problems at hand. Our country is perilously close to a precipice. Our debt is growing out of control, and the cost of ObamaCare is crippling American families and businesses. The easy thing to do is kick the can down the road. The right thing to do is address our country's need for borrowing money and for the Administration to realize that the new healthcare law is not working.  Even President Obama's former spokesman Robert Gibbs called the healthcare roll out "excruciatingly embarrassing" and suggested that someone within the Administration needed to be fired."

"While I am disappointed in the outcome, I am even more ashamed at how President Obama and Harry Reid conducted themselves during the government shutdown. Had the President and Harry Reid been open to negotiating from the start of this, a shutdown never would have happened. Working with the elected representatives of the people is not optional. It is disappointing that it took a crisis situation for the President to realize that refusing to negotiate was not an option. I was also disturbed that President Obama went out of his way to make the shutdown more painful on the public than it needed to be by closing monuments that have never been closed before, threatening to delay payments to veterans – even though veterans benefits are fully funded – and rejecting clean, non-controversial, and bipartisan bills passed by the House to reopen portions of the government. This behavior of putting politics before people is the ultimate sign of leadership failure."

"Now that the President has reversed his position and decided to once again work with the people's representatives, it is my sincere hope that some type of resolution on the budget and the healthcare law can be reached in the months ahead. These are serious times. The President needs to acknowledge what most of America has already seen: that our country is suffering from a mounting debt crisis; and that the Affordable Care Act is seriously flawed."

Congressman Mark Sanford: "I opposed the bill that came before me in the House tonight for one very simple reason: It does nothing to address our national debt or our spending trajectory. It doesn't make progress towards confronting the ballooning deficits that await us around the corner. It raises the debt ceiling and funds the government without making any changes to the things that are causing the national debt to continue to expand," said Sanford.

"I think that this government shutdown is merely a preview of impacts to come down the road, which will be one hundred times worse, if Congress fails to get our financial house in order," added Sanford. "At the end of the day two, beats one in politics and so here we see President Obama and Senator Harry Reid's position win out, but there is a much larger takeaway regarding our need as a nation to have a conversation about changing the way Washington promises and spends."

"I have fought for nearly 20 years against the expansion of government spending and the necessity of confronting our financial reality. According to the Congressional Budget Office in only 12 years every penny government receives will go to entitlement programs or interest on our debt," added Sanford. "12 years is a blink of an eye and things are going to get progressively more painful and difficult if we don't start making progress now."

Congressman Trey Gowdy: "This agreement falls short of what we could have done and what we should have done; hence I could not support it. Nevertheless, issues related to fiscal responsibility and the systemic shortcomings of Obamacare will emerge again soon, and I trust we can be more persuasive in making our argument to the American people."

Sen. Lindsey Graham: "To say we as Republicans left a lot on the table would be one of the biggest understatements in American political history."

"We could have done much, much better. Unfortunately, given where we now find ourselves, this agreement was the best Sen. McConnell could do"

"We could have done much, much better. ....By the time we got to this point, we were playing poker only holding a pair of twos."

"Today's agreement is far from great news but brings to an end - at least temporarily - a disaster."

Sen. Tim Scott: "What we have learned from the past three weeks is clear – we have deep, underlying issues in how our nation budgets and spends. Ending the government shutdown is a good thing; however, raising the debt ceiling with absolutely zero offsetting reductions in spending is the poster child for the lack of fiscal foresight that is common place in Washington.

"There is a process in place for establishing a budget and appropriating dollars each year, and unfortunately that framework has simply been ignored for years now. Instead, patchwork, crisis-to-crisis government has taken over, ensuring duplicative and wasteful programs do not receive the scrutiny they deserve. How can we possibly hope to restore some fiscal sanity to our nation when we continue to simply extend every program all at once?

"We must stop saddling our kids and grandkids with more and more debt, and instead take steps to grow their opportunities. Though the constant gridlock may make it appear to be, finding solutions is not rocket science. The GAO has identified hundreds of billions of dollars of federal spending on programs that are duplicative - let's start saving there.  For example, last year we spent $20 million that went to create reality TV shows in India. 

"Businesses plan for years at a time – government should do the same. Let's take smart steps to rework our tax code and grow our economy. We can unleash America's potential by getting our finances in order, improving our education system and ensuring our small business owners and their employees have the opportunity to innovate. The past few weeks have shown us the time to do this is now."

With the government reopened, federal employees are now allowed to go back to work. However, with the government only funded until Jan. 15, 2014, we could be looking at another potential shutdown in the months to come.

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