Post Tribune -- Visclosky: Debt Deal "Inadequate'

News Article

By Post Tribune Staff

Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Merrillville, joined 94 other Democrats and 66 Republicans in voting against the debt ceiling deal, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday night.

Indiana's two Republican senators -- Sen. Richard Lugar and Sen. Dan Coats -- voted yea and nay, respectively, when it passed the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Visclosky criticized the bill for putting off tough decisions, and he called it "inadequate."

"At a time when our economy is again faltering, it eliminates vital investments in our economic infrastructure due to our inability to address long-term problems," Visclosky said in a statement. "It provides continued funding for two wars leaving the defense industrial complex untouched."

Visclosky remarked that any comprehensive plan must take into account all spending programs as well as taxes and inequalities in the tax code.

"But what makes our current tax code so abhorrent is not the fact that it is unsustainable, but the fact that it is disparately unequal," Visclosky said. "For example, from 2008 to 2010, 12 corporations, including Wells Fargo and General Electric, made a combined $171 billion in profits, but paid no federal corporate tax as a result of a convoluted tax code, while my constituents were paying their income taxes."

Lugar said the bill isn't everything that Republicans wanted, but "it's still a victory for conservatives over President Obama's out-of-control spending and big government policies."

"And we stopped his efforts to increase taxes dead in its tracks," Lugar said in a statement.

Coats said the bill falls short of addressing the severe financial crisis.

"While I am disappointed with the final legislation, I believe progress has been made in this debate," Coats said in a statement. "The real work begins today. I will continue to push to rein in government spending, reform the tax code to create economic growth and restructure entitlement programs to prevent them from becoming bankrupt and denying important retirement benefits for Americans."