WASHINGTON — Most of Oklahoma's lawmakers voted Wednesday night against the bill to reopen the federal government until Jan. 15 and extend the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, was the only Oklahoman to support the legislation. Voting against were Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee; Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa; Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City; Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne; and Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is recovering from heart surgery and missed the vote, though he would have opposed the agreement.
What they said
“Washington doesn't need short-term budget and debt limit extensions as much as we need a long-term spending addiction recovery plan.
“The American people should do what any responsible parent would do if their adolescent child couldn't handle the responsibility of a credit card. We should cut up the credit card and live within our means.”
“The federal government is growing more invasive than our Founding Fathers ever intended; our national debt is slated to skyrocket to $25 trillion in the next decade. ... I look forward to my soon return to continue this debate and ensure this crucial discussion about our nation's future remains in the forefront of funding decisions.”
“Because both sides worked together and negotiated, the government will reopen at last and federal employees can finally return to work.
“This is good news for every American, but it's a heavy burden lifted for thousands of federal workers across the 4th District of Oklahoma, including individuals at Tinker Air Force Base, Fort Sill, Federal Aviation Administration and other important agencies. I am pleased that services like those provided at veterans centers and hospitals for Native Americans will now receive the funding needed to continue serving their patients.”
“Though I could not support the final version of the bill, I have respect for those who did vote for it. This was a most difficult decision because of the long government slowdown and impending debt ceiling. In the final days of this crisis, the options for significant budget reform and serious alterations to the Affordable Care Act continued to decline. I ultimately could not vote for the bill tonight, as it did not change our debt trajectory or provide relief from the central federal controls in the Affordable Care Act. I did not come to my decision on this vote lightly.”
“The president's policy of funding all of the government or none of the government violates the principles of a representative republic and is devastating to a nation historically governed by consensus. Continuing Resolutions are not the way our system is supposed to work ... To make this bill worse, it raised our nation's debt ceiling without any controls on spending.”
Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau