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Congressman Tierney says “no” to Tea Party debt ceiling demands

August 3, 2011

In some ways it was an easy “no” vote for John Tierney. The debt ceiling bill was against every instinct he has: it lays the burden of the debt on the poor and middle class who really had nothing to do with it; it threatens our national security with mandated drastic cuts to the defense department if no compromise can be reached; and it leaves untouched the country’s richest people. All in all it’s a bad bill. But it passed on Monday 269-161 and there were 95 brave Democrats who swallowed their core beliefs for what they perceived as the “good of the country.” The Senate passed it on Tuesday, 74-26. Tierney was concerned that there were no jobs in the bill, veteran services are at risk, and social security and medicare are also exposed. Tierney’s opponent in the last election would have voted against it for another reason, it didn’t cut the deficit deeply enough.

Still, with the nation’s economic system in the balance it would seem to be a political gesture to vote against a bill you knew would pass.  Understandable, but still, if everyone did that the world as we know it could end. “I felt strong that we would not go into default,” Tierney said. “The President could have exercised his 14th Amendment right instead of going along with those who are willing to take the economy right over a cliff.”1

Congressman Tierney’s record of sincerity and integrity make this vote understandable. But what if it were 215 to 215 and his was the deciding vote? But that’s a hypothetical question: unfair in politics.

  1. Salem Evening News, 8/2/11, p. A8 []

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