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LaHood votes no, Sorensen says yes as House passes debt limit bill

Darin LaHood and Eric Sorensen
U.S. Reps. Darin LaHood, left, and Eric Sorensen represent parts of Bloomington-Normal and Peoria in the House.

A compromise bill to avoid an unprecedented debt default overwhelmingly cleared the U.S. House on Wednesday night – but without the support of one of Bloomington-Normal’s congressmen.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, a Republican from Dunlap, voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, which would lift the debt limit for nearly two years. It passed on a 314-117 vote. Rep. Eric Sorensen, a Democrat from Moline who also represents parts of Bloomington-Normal, voted yes.

LaHood said he was undecided on the bill as late as Tuesday. Ultimately, he voted no. He issued a statement after Wednesday’s vote:

“While I appreciate the hard work of Speaker McCarthy and Republican negotiators to force President Biden to the table and get Democrat concessions, I cannot support the agreement in its current form as the bill allows unlimited borrowing over the next two years and does not take long-term steps to address our debt crisis.

"Illinois families who work hard must meet budgets and spend money within their means, and it is long past time that the federal government do the same. That's why I joined House Republicans to responsibly raise the debt limit and pass the Limit, Save, Grow Act last month, legislation to significantly reform Washington's spending addiction.

"As I've listened to residents of central and northwestern Illinois this past week, it is clear that 16th District constituents do not want unlimited COVID-19 level deficit spending that continues to kick the can down the road and places the burden on our children and grandchildren.”

Sorensen also issued a statement after his vote in favor:

“Tonight I voted on a bipartisan compromise that while not perfect, prevents a debt default that would be catastrophic for Illinois working families. Now we can get back to the priorities that matter most: creating good-paying sustainable jobs, making our communities safer and healthier, and lowering costs for families.”

The vote came just days before the U.S. could run out of money to pay its bills, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

The bill now heads to the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it will need 60 votes before it would go to Biden's desk. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has already said lawmakers are prepared to stay the weekend to pass the legislation, if needed.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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