Congressman Joe Courtney, who represents most of the eastern half of Connecticut, including the towns of Old Lyme, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Essex, Deep River and Chester, is in the thick of the nation’s current debt ceiling crisis.
First, on July 29 he voted “no” on House Speaker John Boehner’s bill to address federal debt ceiling crisis and related issues. Courtney charged that the Boehner bill “is no solution at all,” and is no more than “a short term patch that provides no certainty to the American people or to the financial markets.” Also, the Congressman said that the legislation “sets the stage for a repeat of this divisive, unnecessary debate just a few months from now.”
Courtney also attacked the Speaker’s bill in that it would impose “a grotesque requirement that Congress deface the Constitution with an amendment that would cripple the country’s ability to meet the challenges it faces” by requiring a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
Next, on July 30 Courtney cast a “Yes” vote in favor of Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “compromise bill to end the default crisis.” The Congressman said, “Like any compromise that includes Democratic and Republican ideas, Senator Reid’s bill is not perfect.” However, he said that the Reid bill “accomplishes what Speaker Boehner’s plan would not,” in that “it protects seniors, Social Security and Medicare,” among other federal programs. Most importantly, the Connecticut Congressman said, the Reid bill is “the only bipartisan option before Congress.”
A big bone of contention for Democrats is that the Boehner bill would require that the nation’s debt ceiling limit be renegotiated again in just six months. However, there is agreement under both the Boehner and Reid bills in that there are no tax increases in either measure.