Congressman Adrian Smith says Congress might have reached a deal to re-open the federal government and avoid hitting the debt ceiling, but the deal signed into law by President Obama brings only temporary relief.
“Obviously, these negotiations need to continue and this issue is not behind us,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Clearly, this is a short-term solution moving forward and I think both sides know that.”
The bill approved by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama funds the federal government through January 15th. The agreement extends the nation’s borrowing capacity until early February.
It keeps the spending caps established by the Budget Control Act, the so-called sequestration, in place and instructs the Senate-House budget conference committee to hammer out a more permanent budget solution.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry says he voted in favor of the deal, because it was time to end the partial federal government shutdown and the nation simply couldn’t afford to default.
“So, at this point, even though the House of Representatives tried in earnest to negotiate on some of the underlying problems in the healthcare bill as well as (the) debt and deficit, and the president did not respond, at this point, it’s simply time to move forward, re-open the government, get people back to work and put this behind us,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Now, Congress has a bit of breathing room, time for the Senate and House budget negotiators to work out differences. But, those differences are great.
Public opinion polls indicate Republicans lost stature in the eyes of the public during their stand-off with Senate Democrats and the president.
Fortenberry, a Republican, acknowledges people are angry and it would be dishonest to say there is no political fallout from the latest fiscal fight.
Smith says his fellow House Republicans need to press their vision for the country while negotiations begin on a more permanent budget solution.
“We need to use this intervening time to develop a good strategy, to make sure that we just don’t kind of give a laundry list of what we want to see, but we need to make our case to the American people of why tax reform, for example, is good for America, why it’s good for the economy,” Smith says.
Smith says negotiations need to rein in spending and provide the tax relief needed to spur economic growth.
Fortenberry holds out hope that the House-Senate budget conference committee might be able to accomplish something the latest clash could not.
“If you look backwards, you would have very little reason to have optimism. However, this latest dramatic crisis I think has potentially shocked the system.”