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Rosendale and Zinke indicate 'No' votes on debt ceiling deal

Posted at 4:42 PM, May 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 18:42:49-04

HELENA — Montana’s congressional delegation in the House of Representatives have indicated they will be voting against a bill that would raise the debt ceiling for two years.

The bipartisan deal, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, was brokered by the White House and Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. The core of the legislation aims to suspend the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025, and sets spending caps at $886 billion for military spending and $704 billion for nonmilitary discretionary spending. It also would rescind around $28 billion in unspent Covid relief funds and cut $1.4 billion from IRS spending.

Montana Republicans Matt Rosendale and Ryan Zinke made their announcements opposing the legislation ahead of the vote, which is expected Wednesday night.

Rosendale was harsh in his criticism saying the deal failed to cut spending while supporting Democrat initiatives.

“The D.C. Swamp has proposed the largest debt ceiling increase in our nation’s history, adding $4 trillion to the existing $31 trillion national debt,” Rosendale said in a statement. "The Fiscal Irresponsibility Act fails to cut spending and continues to fund the Democrats’ and Biden Administration’s radical agenda. It is frankly an insult to the American people to support a piece of legislation that continues to put our country’s financial future at risk. Montanans did not send me to Washington to support business as usual, which is why I will be voting AGAINST the Fiscal Irresponsibility Act."

Zinke was less critical of the legislation on Twitter saying the bill wasn’t bad and had needed updates on energy permitting reforms and spending reductions. But more needed to be done to cut the budget and grow the economy.

"We need structural change in how government operates to get back to that fundamental Constitutional power. I will use my position on the Appropriations Committee to reduce spending and pull back government over-regulation that is driving inflation and debt," Zinke wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. Treasury currently estimates the country will default on its debt on June 5, 2023, if action isn’t taken by Congress, which would be a first in the nation’s history.