KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Both U.S. Representatives for the Tri-Cities region voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 on Wednesday night. The House Resolution passed regardless with a majority of representatives voting in favor of it.
Representatives Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.) and Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) voted nay on the resolution, which ultimately received approval. Both had previously expressed their intent to vote in such a manner.
The bipartisan bill was the result of negotiations between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as the nation’s default deadline neared.
Griffith issued a statement early Thursday morning, saying he could not justify voting for such a rise in the debt ceiling as it was presented. His full statement can be found below:
“In late April, I voted in favor of the Limit, Save, Grow Act, House Republicans’ common-sense legislation to rein in Congress’ reckless spending, while also raising the debt ceiling by $1.5 trillion.Congressman H. Morgan Griffith
I could not, however, justify voting in favor of legislation that raises the debt ceiling by a projected $4 trillion without a majority of the spending reforms previously agreed to, as was put forth by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
I was particularly disappointed that the REINS Act was not included in this new legislation. The REINS Act requires regulations proposed by federal agencies, in excess of $100 million, to be approved Congress before taking effect. This would take a significant step in restoring Congress’ legislative authority, as intended by our Constitutional framework. I will continue to fight to get the REINS Act enacted into law.”
Harshbarger also provided News Channel 11 with the following statement:
“The debt ceiling bill is a bad deal for the American Taxpayer, plain and simple. Instead of kicking the can down the road, Congress must focus on long-term solutions to our national debt that will cut fiscal waste, lift up hard-working Americans, and end Biden’s war on our economy.”Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger
Tennessee’s nine voices in Congress were mixed, with Harshbarger and Republican Tim Burchett from Knoxville voting “nay,” along with Tennessee’s sole Democrat Representative Steve Cohen. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who represents Tennessee’s 4th District, did not vote. The other five, all Republicans, voted in favor of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Griffith found himself in an overwhelming majority as far as how Virginia’s representatives voted. Of Virginia’s 11 representatives, five of whom are Republicans and six of whom are Democrats, only three voted in favor of the resolution.
A complete breakdown of votes is available online.