Obama signs debt ceiling legislation; Illinois delegation divided

August 2, 2011

City Room and the Associated Press

President Barack Obama has signed legislation to increase the nation's borrowing authority and avert a potentially catastrophic government default.

Obama signed the bill privately in the Oval Office little more than an hour after the Senate voted final passage on Tuesday. It capped months of contentious and partisan debate, and followed the House of Representatives vote to approve the bill on Monday. The compromise bill paired an increase in the debt ceiling with promises of more than $2 trillion of budget cuts over the next decade.

Republican U.S. Representative from Illinois Don Manzulla voted "yes" to the plan but says there is still much to be done to ensure America's long-term economic security.

“This bill is far from perfect," said Manzullo in a statement. "I think we could have cut spending much more deeply. But it does go far enough to preserve our strong AAA credit rating, and that’s vital to our efforts to strengthen our economy and help put Americans back to work."

Manzullo joined seven other Illinois Republicans and six Democrats in approving the measure. But not all Illinois representatives voted "yes" on the bill. Republican U.S. Representative Joe Walsh voted "no" because he felt it that it spends too much and cuts to little. 

“The fact that there are only $7 billion in cuts next year, an election year, shows how blatantly political this bill is," said Walsh in a statement. "We need to be slashing reckless spending now and in the future, not just when it is politically convenient for the President.”

The legislation also establishes a special 12-member congressional panel charged with identifying additional cuts to the budget in future years.

Illinois Republican Representative Judy Biggert voted 'yes' on the bill, but also believes it is imperfect.

“It’s been a long, tough negotiation, but the end result is a solid compromise that will help put this economy on a stronger path," said Biggert. "It will give Americans the peace of mind they deserve by preventing a default, cutting spending, and holding Congress and the President accountable for spending decisions down the road.  Most importantly, it doesn’t raise taxes or give the President a blank check."

How the Illinois delegation voted:

U.S House Republicans Yes:

Judy Biggert, Robert Dold, Adam Kinzinger, Don Manzullo, Peter Roskam, Bobby Schilling, Aaron Schock, John Shimkus

U.S. House Republicans No:

Randy Hultgren, Tim Johnson, Joe Walsh

U.S. House Democrats Yes: 

Jerry Costello, Danny Davis, Luis Gutierrez, Dan Lipinski, Bobby Rush, Mike Quigley

U.S. House Democrats No:

Jesse Jackson Jr., Jan Schakowsky

U.S. Senate Yes:

Dick Durbin (D), Mark Kirk (R)