Congressional Watch: TN’s House Republicans Vote No On Budget Deal

Congressman Scott DesJarlais says he will not vote for a funding compromise. Credit: ulises george via Flickr

Congressman Scott DesJarlais says he will not vote for a funding compromise. Credit: ulises george via Flickr

Updated 10:05 pm

Brentwood Republican Marsha Blackburn says she can’t support the Senate’s budget deal “in its current form.” She accuses the Obama Administration and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of refusing to negotiate on drivers of the nation’s debt.

Without explaining whether she would rather allow the nation to default on its debts, Blackburn says in a statement she will continue to work on achieving spending cuts equal to the amount the debt ceiling is being lifted.

Tennessee Reps. Diane Black, John Duncan, Stephen Fincher, Chuck Fleischmann and Phil Roe also cast a no vote Wednesday night.

Reported earlier:

Congressman Scott DesJarlais is the first in Tennessee’s delegation to say he won’t vote for a budget compromise hammered out in the U.S. Senate.

The Jasper Republican – who also represents Murfreesboro – says the bill to fund the government, raise the debt ceiling and avoid default lacks “courage.”

In a statement, DesJarlais criticizes Obamacare and deficit spending. He charges that party leaders on both sides are more concerned with polling than they are – in his words – “doing what is right.” DesJarlais does not comment on whether he’d prefer the U.S. to fall behind on paying its bills for the first time in history.

Republican Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood, when asked how she would vote on the funding compromise, simply said she needed to read it first.

Listen to the walk-and-talk with WPLN contributor Matt Laslo:

As expected, Tennessee’s two Democrats in Congress say they will vote for the compromise. Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville says he’s a yes, as does Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis. In a video statement, Cohen says he remains “concerned about the damage that has been done to America’s reputation.”

Senators Vote Yes

Both of Tennessee’s Republican senators supported the funding bill that would reopen the government and avoid default.

“It is beyond belief that Congress chose to pursue an effort that had no chance of success and wasted time that could have been spent putting in place spending reforms that will make our country stronger,” Sen. Bob Corker said in a statement.

Sen. Lamar Alexander voted against shutting down the government initially, and in a statement he says, “today I voted to reopen it and to make sure that the United States pays its bills on time.”

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