Five of Six SC House Members Vote Against Shutdown-Prevention Plan

5:38 PM, Apr 9, 2011   |    comments
Mick Mulvaney
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Washington, DC (Gannett Washington Bureau) -- Five of South Carolina's six House members - a proportion higher than any other state's congressional delegation - voted early Saturday against a measure that prevented the federal government from shutting down.

The five, all Republicans, were among 70 who voted "no," while 348 other members voted in favor of the agreement.

The bill keeps the government open for six days and gives lawmakers time to debate a larger measure aimed at cutting almost $40 billion from this year's budget and keeping the government operating until Oct. 1.

The only South Carolinian to vote for the six-day "continuing resolution" was Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn, the lone Democrat who represents the Palmetto State on Capitol Hill.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-Lancaster County, said he voted no because he didn't have enough details about the broader, $40 billion agreement.

"Not knowing how I feel about the long-term deal I was much more comfortable voting against the short-term (continuing resolution)," Mulvaney said in a telephone interview Saturday evening.

The Senate passed the continuing resolution by voice vote. Both South Carolina senators, Republicans Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, voted for it, according to Graham's office.

The five South Carolina Republicans, who enjoy strong tea party support, have said Congress should cut way more. Even cutting $61 billion from this year's budget, as Republicans originally proposed after winning control of the House, wasn't enough, they argued.

The $2 billion trimmed by the continuing resolution and the $38.5 billion in spending cuts in the agreement reached by House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, and President Barack Obama is too little, according to many tea party-backed Republicans.

"The people of South Carolina expect Congress to get serious about cutting up the credit cards and get spending under control," Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-Laurens County, said in a statement Saturday. "I've always believed that the original Republican plan that cut $61 billion didn't go far enough. Our nation is $14.2 trillion dollars in debt. We need to be cutting trillions instead of arguing over cutting billions."

The Republican lawmaker who represents the Greenville-Spartanburg region, GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, couldn't be reached for comment Saturday.

Mulvaney said he wants to study the details of the $38.5 billion spending-cut deal before deciding how he'll vote for it later in the week. One thing Mulvaney insisted the deal should include is language allowing Congress to cut funding for the portions of the Democratic health care reform law of 2010.

"If ... there's nothing in it about Obamacare I would be hard-pressed to vote for it," Mulvaney said. "I recognize the fact that we are not going to have a repeal. But I still think it is reasonable for us to pursue defunding bits and pieces of it." 

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