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Matheson joins the GOP on cut, cap and balance

Published July 19, 2011 9:23 pm

Politics • His fellow "Blue Dogs" see vote as a partisan move.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • Rep. Jim Matheson was one of five Democrats who went along with a Republican plan to tie an increase to the debt limit with a balanced-budget amendment.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, passed on a vote of 234 to 190. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, also voted for the bill.

Matheson, Utah's only Democrat in Congress, was one of only a handful of House members who crossed party lines. Nine Republicans voted against the bill that would require deep budget cuts, cap future spending and require the passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution before allowing the nation to borrow more than the current debt of $14.3 trillion.

"When families face tough financial times, they set a budget and enforce discipline to live within it," Matheson said. "While this bill is not perfect, I believe it is important for Congress to address our debt crisis with significant proposals."

Matheson went against many of his fellow "Blue Dog" Democrats, who support fiscal restraint but see this vote as a partisan maneuver.

"I have long supported and voted for spending cuts, but this bill was crafted with pure political motives and is not a real or practical solution to our nation's fiscal crisis," said Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.

The vote is largely viewed as symbolic as President Barack Obama has already threatened to veto it and the Senate is controlled by Democrats who oppose the bill. Senators are working on separate proposals that would not include a balanced-budget amendment.


Twitter: @mattcanham






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