New Mexico lawmakers respond to debt ceiling deal

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The full House of Representatives passed the Biden-McCarthy debt limit deal Wednesday night.

President Joe Biden released a statement thanking the House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his team for “negotiating in good faith.”

According to the Congressional website, Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury is the only member of our delegation who voted against the bill. 

KOB 4 has been trying to reach her team to find out more on her decision.

Rep. Gabe Vasquez sent the following statement to KOB 4:

“It’s frustrating and dangerous that we had to be at the brink of default for Washington to agree on a deal. The reality is that this is an irresponsible action, but we have to appreciate that we were able to avoid $130 billion in cuts that would have hurt many working families. In this compromise, we were able to secure veterans’ health care, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid coverage, while keeping critical funding for infrastructure and programs that will bring jobs to New Mexico intact. But Washington must stop operating in a culture of chaos – the potential default we faced shows us how fragile our democracy truly is. We must do more to protect the integrity of good governance and to legislate in support of working-class families.”

Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez also sent KOB 4 a statement:

“For weeks, extreme Republicans chose to hold Americans hostage. They demanded that we slash funding for rural communities, healthcare for veterans and so much more.  The extreme cuts would have hurt everyone but the wealthiest because Republicans were protecting their billionaire buddies’ tax cuts. 

We spread the word and the voices of veterans, seniors and small businesses objecting to the cuts went into the negotiating room.  The President rejected Republicans’ extreme demands that would have devastated hard-working New Mexican families.  We pushed back against the efforts to undo all of the investments Congress made last session; we protected programs like clean energy; housing; broadband and bringing manufacturing back to America.  

This bill is far from perfect. I do not support many of the changes to environmental laws and our nutrition programs, although I am pleased that foster children, the un-housed and veterans will have an easier time accessing much needed help. 

But I voted for this legislation because it prevents economic catastrophe, rejects the cruelest proposals, and protects investments for our communities.  We must also never let Republicans take our economy hostage again.”