Sides Differ on Success of Shutdown-Ending Agreement

By: Garrett Wymer Email
By: Garrett Wymer Email

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- For local political groups and the politicians representing you, the debate is just beginning.

A deal passed and the government is open, but both sides of the aisle in Washington and right here in the Valley still disagree on what needs to be done.

Among those opposing last night's budget and debt deal was Congressman Bob Goodlatte, who said the bill doesn't do enough to fix the fiscal problems the country faces.

"Getting spending under control and reducing our debt remain my highest priorities, and this bill did not meet these goals," Goodlatte said in a statement. "That is why I could not vote in support of this proposal."

Meanwhile, Staunton City Council member Bruce Elder, who has said he plans to seek the Democratic nomination to run against Goodlatte, said he was disappointed in Goodlatte's vote.

"I was hoping to see a statesman-like response from Congressman Goodlatte, and that's not what we've seen," Elder said. "He voted with the conservative wing of his party in what I think was a politically expedient but not realistic vote."

As the Senate and House now work toward a long-term deal, Sen. Mark Warner said he sees the two stumbling blocks being entitlement reform for Democrats and tax reform for Republicans.

"If we can find a way to get through those issues, I think the rest becomes relatively easy," Warner said. "And my hope will be if all of the Virginians and Americans that have anger will continue that anger at Congress and say, 'Get a real deal done.'"

Warner, along with Virginia's other senator, Democrat Tim Kaine, were appointed to the Budget Conference Committee to try to forge a long-term deal before the budget agreement runs out Jan. 15 and the debt ceiling is reached Feb. 7.

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