U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly was one of seven Republicans, six Democrats and an independent who banded together to develop a "Plan B" budget framework to prevent default. (HPI Photo by Chris Sautter)
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly was one of seven Republicans, six Democrats and an independent who banded together to develop a "Plan B" budget framework to prevent default. (HPI Photo by Chris Sautter)
By BRIAN A. HOWEY

NASHVILLE, Ind. - The U.S. House has voted to reopen the federal government 285-144, joining the Senate, which passed the measure 81-18.

The vote occurred after several Indiana Republicans - U.S. Reps. Luke Messer, Larry Bucshon, Marlin Stutzman, Jackie Walorski - announced they would vote against the bill. But almost 90 Republicans voted to end a 16-day shutdown and pull away from a federal default that could have crippled the planet's economy.

U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats voted yes on the Senate bill that is intended to keep the United States out of default.

Voting for the measure were U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Young.

“I believe surpassing the debt ceiling would harm Hoosier families, adversely affect the stock market and damage America’s position on the global stage," said Brooks. "Default puts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments at risk and could trigger another downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. I did not come to Congress to perpetuate this type of uncertainty. Governing is about making responsible choices. I believe voting to prevent a default on our debt and open our government is the responsible choice. I remain committed to reducing our national debt and protecting Americans from the President’s failed healthcare law."

Young, R-Bloomington, said, “Tonight I voted for a plan to avoid default on our national debt, to end the partial shutdown of the federal government, to create a framework for immediately dealing with our budget challenges, and to tighten anti-fraud measures for Obamacare’s tax subsidies.  But this is only the beginning: Under this plan, government funding will again run out in just three months, and we’ll be up against our borrowing limit in a mere four months. We must commit ourselves to avoiding the constant cycle of brinksmanship by working across party lines to address issues like job creation, stagnant personal incomes, our unsustainable national debt, and rising healthcare costs—and we must do that as soon as the current stalemate is resolved, not when we’re facing the next deadline."

Walorski, R-Jimtown, explained, “As I have said before, I do not support defaulting on our nation’s debt.  Tonight, I am glad that a deal was reached to temporarily avoid default and reopen the government, allowing more time for the House and Senate to reach a long-term compromise. However, without any spending cuts or budget reforms aimed at getting our fiscal house in order, I could not support this plan. Moving forward, I will continue to work across the aisle on bipartisan solutions to balance the budget, cut spending, and get our national debt under control.  I remain committed to participating in these important discussions until we agree on commonsense policies that properly support our hardworking families, seniors, veterans, and servicemembers.”

Stutzman, R-Howe and an ally of Heritage chief Jim DeMint and Club For Growth's Chris Chocola, had been saying this week he was against default. But Stutzman lines up against the plan that does not include a medical device tax repeal. “Hoosier families are struggling under the weight of Obamacare’s job-killing mandates and the nation’s crushing $17 trillion debt," Stutzman said. "This bill does nothing to provide relief of those issues or end special treatment for Members of Congress under Obamacare and therefore I will oppose it.”

Multiple Indiana House Republican sources are telling HPI that the bill will pass the House

Bucshon, R-Newburgh, also said he will vote no, even thought he is against default. "I firmly believe the United States should not default on its payments and I have worked to avoid the prospect of default; however, I could not support this legislation," Bucshon said, adding, "This legislation is merely the byproduct of a dysfunctional, Democrat-run Washington, D.C. that would rather kick the can down the road than work on serious solutions."

Messer, R-Shelbyville and leader of the freshman class, said in a statement, "I will be voting against the Senate plan. The bill does little to protect the American people from Obamacare or to protect our children and grandchildren from inheriting a mountain of debt. Nonetheless, I am glad to see the shutdown ending. It’s time to get people back to work and time for Congress to move forward.”

Coats voted yes, but did so while holding his nose. “While I deplore supporting yet another short-term Band-Aid, the only thing worse would be a continued government shutdown, the United States defaulting on its debt obligations and the elimination of the spending reductions enacted by Congress in 2011," said Coats. “I have voted for and will continue to support efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with common-sense health care reforms. It is evident to me that the present strategy has failed to sway the president or Senate Democrats. As we’ve seen from Obamacare’s disastrous rollout, this law’s failures are more than mere glitches, and the fight to repeal it must continue. I am disappointed with this outcome, but my commitment to reducing our debt, growing the economy and getting Americans back to work will not waver. I will be an integral part of the ongoing effort to address our nation’s serious financial challenges.”

Donnelly told reporters in a conference call Wednesday afternoon, that the plan announced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "is from the framework we put together. I believe it will receive overwhelming, bipartisan support."

But Tea Party groups  and Club For Growth were setting up opposition to the plan just minutes after it was announced.


While other Indiana Members of Congress were hearing from constituents to not accept the deal, Donnelly said he was hearing from Hoosiers that the nation was being "embarrassed" and they wanted to federal government to reopen.

Bucshon added, "The Senate debt deal does not offer any real solutions to address the challenges we face as a nation. The final deal failed to achieve any deficit reduction or to cut spending, nor did it include any substantial changes to ObamaCare, including a delay of the individual mandate or repeal of the onerous medical device tax. It’s estimated this year, that the average Hoosier will pay 72% more for their healthcare, while big business received a break from the Obama administration and Indiana’s 300 medical device companies expect to layoff over 2,000 employees because of the medical device tax.  This is unacceptable and it is shameful that President Obama and Democrats in Washington, D.C. forced a shutdown and possible default only to preserve every aspect of the President’s unaffordable, unfair healthcare law.

But Tea Party groups were setting up opposition to the plan just minutes after it was announced. “The Ruling Elites in Washington, D.C. have completely abandoned the American people,” said Jenny Beth Martin, National Coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. “The deal cut in the Senate does NOT protect the American people from this unfair and unworkable law. The Senate deal is a complete sellout. Speaker Boehner and the House should stand firm and reject this deal to reign in the Executive branch’s power before it is too late.”

Club For Growth, headed by former Republican Indiana congressman Chris Chocola, tweeted out this afternoon: "Club News: Key Vote Alert - "NO" on Reid-McConnell Deal."

Donnelly said he had stayed in contact with U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., who represents the district just across the Indiana state line. "I know Fred is working with leadership in the House to move this forward and get success," said Donnelly, D-Granger.

Donnelly said the group of Senate moderates came together several weeks ago that included Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. "There was great concern we would be bumping up against a deadline and go through default," Donnelly said. "Everybody left their political label at the door and worked non-stop. A number of people had different positions. The goal was to make sure our nation was protected. This wasn't about anything other than moving the country forward. There were very frank and open discussions. We are fortunate to put a framework together. Leadership from both parties took that framework."

As for the "contours of the agreement" that was forged, Donnelly said, "My first intention was to make sure we didn't go over the cliff. I wish these deadlines were further out. Some wanted them shorter. What I am hopeful for is everybody has seen the danger this kind of conduct presents, the danger this presents to the nation."

He noted that home building and mortgages have slowed down, and that cancer research had stopped at the National Institute of Health and that researchers are on furlough.

Developing . . . .