A Nebraska Congressman who sits on the House Budget Committee defends the two-year budget deal in face of strong opposition in the delegation.
Fortenberry, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, says the budget deal avoids another government shutdown showdown.
“Look, we don’t need any more disruptions from Washington. I don’t think America can sustain this,” Fortenberry tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Fortenberry stands alone among Nebraska Republicans in supporting the deal reached between Congressional leaders and President Barack Obama.
Fellow Republican, Congressman Adrian Smith, voted against the deal. According to a spokesperson, Smith objected to the $3 billion cut to the crop insurance program as well as the raising of the debt ceiling without significant budget reforms. Smith also opposed raising discretionary spending caps.
Democrat Brad Ashford praised the deal, calling it a responsible, bipartisan budget deal that prevents default and economic downturn.
Both Republicans Sen. Deb Fischer and Sen. Ben Sasse voted against the agreement.
Though the agreement raises domestic spending by $80 billion, Fortenberry says that increase keeps spending at 2011 levels.
“Again, it reduces budgets to about 2011 levels in the discretionary side, adequately funds our military, helps the Medicare problem, but most importantly, creates some stability moving forward for a term,” according to Fortenberry.
The agreement raised the government debt ceiling until March of 2017. It sets federal spending through fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The deal also shores up the Social Security disability trust fund and prevents an increase in Medicare premiums for outpatient care, which would have affected about 15 million Americans.
The agreement passed the Senate on a 64-35 vote. The House passed the measure 266-167.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]