WASHINGTON -- Fifteen of the 18 House members from Illinois voted today in favor of the federal budget deal, which passed 332-94.
One Illinois Democrat voted no and two others skipped the vote.
The two who did not vote were Reps. Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, both from Chicago. An aide to Rush said this fall that he is on a leave of absence as his wife convalesces from an illness. A Davis spokesman, Ira Cohen, reached today by the Tribune, said he did not know why the lawmaker did not vote, but said he would try to find out.
The only no vote was from Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a liberal from Evanston. She said the budget deal didn’t reflect the country’s priorities nor did it extend emergency unemployment benefits.
“If Congress goes home without acting, on Dec. 28 – three days after Christmas – 1.3 million people will lose their benefits,” she said in a statement. “Making sure that they can keep their modest benefits should be a priority for all of us.”
The statement added: “Congress must pass a budget that invests in good jobs, the economy and education and that rejects proposals to cut pensions and retirement. Federal workers have already given up over $140 billion in salary and benefit cuts over the past three years as a result of budget deals that put the burden on them. It is time to look at closing corporate tax loopholes. It’s time to ask corporations that shift jobs overseas, oil and gas companies and private jet owners to contribute their fair share.”
Hultgren was alone among Illinois’ members of Congress in October in opposing the bipartisan deal to end the partial government shutdown and prevent the country from going into default. He said then that Congress could have acted to tame the national debt, but did not.
In a statement today, Hultgren said:
“This budget agreement preserves fiscally conservative principles, ensures our military readiness and makes the first step toward breaking the cycle of government by crisis.
“By actually capping discretionary spending levels below two previously passed House budgets and the caps put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011 — without raising taxes — we are preserving fiscal responsibility and opening the door to true reform of our $17 trillion debt problem.”