January 23, 2013

Reps. Michaud and Pingree split over debt ceiling vote

Maine's Mike Michaud votes in favor of the bill, while Chellie Pingree opposes it.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Maine’s two Democratic House members, U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud, split on a vote to suspend the nation's debt ceiling.

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine's 2nd District

U.S Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine's 1st District

John Ewing

The Republican-controlled House voted 285-144 Wednesday to let the government borrow enough money to avoid a default on the nation's debts for at least four months. The bipartisan vote delays a partisan showdown over taxes, spending and the deficit until spring.

Michaud, D-District 2, voted in support of the bill.

“While I would have preferred a longer-term and more strongly worded bill, this measure will avoid default and help force Congress to get serious about budgeting,” Michaud said in a statement.

The Democrat also supports tying lawmakers’ pay to passage of budget bills, noting that he has co-sponsored similar legislation several times, including on a bill re-introduced last week.

Pingree, D-District 1, voted against the Republican-crafted measure.

“Congresswoman Pingree believes we need more certainty, not more uncertainty, and simply delaying a decision on the debt ceiling for another three months is not going to give the economy and the market the certainty they need to keep the recovery going,” Pingree spokesman Willy Ritch said in an interview.

Pingree also wants a “clean increase of the debt ceiling” rather than tying that issue to other debates, Ritch said.

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