SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota’s two U.S. senators voted in favor of ending the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government, but the state’s congresswoman opposed the measure.
Republican Rep. Kristi Noem said reopening the government and averting the possibility of a national default are good things. “However, I could not support this bill because it didn’t do anything to address our continued deficit spending, which has resulted in a $17 trillion debt,” she said in a statement.
The federal government reopened its doors after Congress on Wednesday approved the bipartisan measure ending the shutdown and President Barack Obama signed it early Thursday, ending a brawl with Republicans who tried to use the legislation to derail Obama’s health care law and demand concessions on the budget.
Republican Sen. John Thune said the measure isn’t perfect but is necessary.
“It will ensure that we don’t blow past the default date that’s been set by the Treasury, and it will force Congress to have a broad debate about Washington’s dangerous levels of spending and debt, which are hamstringing the economy and mortgaging our children’s futures,” he said in a statement. “This debate should be an opportunity to focus on fiscal policies that will actually grow the economy and strengthen the middle class.”
Thune also said the fight against the Affordable Care Act “doesn’t end today.”
Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson praised the agreement and condemned the role played in the shutdown by House Republicans who tried unsuccessfully to use the shutdown and a potential default on the government’s debt as leverage to weaken the health care law.
“By holding firm in opposition to the House attempts at extortion, I hope that President Obama has permanently closed the door to the possibility of government default by either Republicans or Democrats,” Johnson said in a statement. “A key piece of the agreement is jump-starting a constructive budget process to find real solutions to address our deficit in a setting free of hostage-taking.”
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