PARKERSBURG - Congressional representatives from West Virginia voted for the resolution to keep the federal government operating another two weeks while cutting $4 billion in spending.
The resolution, which passed the House on Tuesday and the Senate on Wednesday, passed the House 335-91 with more than 100 Democrats siding with the Republicans and not Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, former House speaker. West Virginia Reps. Shelley Moore Capito, David McKinley and Nick Joe Rahall voted in the affirmative.
"While we need a long-term solution to our massive deficits, we can achieve that without shutting down the government," McKinley, R-1st, said in a statement issued after the vote. "That's why I joined the vast majority of my colleagues in voting for a shorter-term fix so that we can have time to settle on a final spending-reduction package for this year."
The House two weeks ago passed a resolution which cut about $100 billion in spending from the 2011 budget, the largest spending cut in the country's history, McKinley said.
"The spending reductions passed by the House two weeks ago were not easy, but they were necessary," McKinley said. "I'm hopeful that in the coming weeks, both parties can come together on legislation that continues to fund the government, makes common-sense spending reductions and creates an environment where our job-creators and future generations can succeed."
Much of the $4 billion comes from areas President Obama had proposed to eliminate. The resolution is in the Senate and is expected to be sent to the President today.
"Republicans are lined up with the American people who have called on us to stop spending money we don't have. The House has now passed two funding bills, demonstrating our commitment to reducing our national debt while keeping the government afloat." Capito, R-2nd, said. "Cuts in this bill have already been supported by Democrats and should therefore have no problem passing into law. As I've stated numerous times, no one wants a government shut-down."
Government has been operating on short-term funding extensions because Democrats failed to pass a budget or an appropriations bill, Capito said. Capito urged the Senate to adopt a long-term funding bill with significant spending cuts that she said will boost the economy and create jobs.
While Capito, McKinley and Rahall were in agreement with the resolution, McKinley and Capito voted against a motion supported by Rahall, D-3rd, and most other Democrats to eliminate subsidies tens of billions of dollars in subsidies for the five largest oil companies. That motion failed 176-249 with no Republicans voting in favor.
The Senate addressed the legislation on Wednesday. A shutdown would affect millions of people, such as seniors applying for Social Security or Medicare, Sen. Jay Rockefeller said.
"At the same time, our current spending is unsustainable, and we must determine real solutions to reduce costs and decrease the deficit," Rockefeller said. "We will address that issue in a sensible and responsible way. With the elimination of future earmarks, I will work to press federal agencies to find other ways to fund high priority projects that are essential to our communities, such as mine safety, transportation projects, flood control projects, health care facilities, and the National Guard."
Sen. Joe Manchin again called for a common sense bipartisan plan.
"I voted for the continuing resolution today because it gets us on the path to cutting our spending and making the tough choices that will be required as we move forward," Manchin said. "To solve a problem as big as our deficit and out-of-control spending, Democrats and Republicans are going to have to put partisan differences aside and work together on a common sense solution."
Manchin Wednesday said he will cosponsor a measure encouraging Congress and the states to ratify a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget, a step that would force the federal government to finally live within its means.
"We must work together, in a bipartisan manner, to get our fiscal house in order," Manchin said. "After all, families balance their budgets and so do states. After years of explosive growth and skyrocketing debt, the federal government must also start living within its means. Without a balanced budget amendment, the federal government just spends more than we have, and I believe this step is necessary to rein in our out-of-control spending."
The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, expresses the sense of the Senate that Congress and the states should agree to a federal balanced budget amendment, Manchin said.