Entries in debt vote (2)


Giffords Makes Debt Vote; No Decision on Re-Election Campaign

Tom Williams/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has made no decision about whether she'll run for re-election to Congress, rumors and news reports to the contrary, her spokesman said Tuesday morning.

"The congresswoman is focused on her recovery," the spokesman said. "Nothing has changed."

Giffords, D-Ariz., returned to Congress Monday night for the first time since being shot in the head in January, casting a vote in support of the compromise debt-ceiling bill.

"Gabrielle has returned to Washington to support a bipartisan bill to prevent economic crisis," read a message posted to Giffords' Twitter account while members began casting their votes on the House floor.

Minutes later, Giffords, 41, slowly entered the chamber to loud, sustained applause and a standing ovation by her colleagues, who huddled around her to give hugs, kisses and handshakes.

Vice President Joe Biden, with a big smile on his face, walked to the House floor and said, "I came to see Gabby, that's why I'm here."

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said of Giffords as she was leaving the House floor Monday, "It was above and beyond the call of duty. She's a heroine ... an inspiration."

Pelosi said she had known Giffords was coming to the Hill for this vote for some time, but didn't want to say anything until it happened. The two spent some time on the floor talking Monday evening

"It's been an emotional few hours," Schultz told ABC News' Diane Sawyer.

She said Giffords decided to make the trip to Washington because she "wanted to make sure that her district had a voice in this important vote."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Harry Reid 'Embarrassed' By Debt Vote

Reid[dot]Senate[dot]gov(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told ABC News Thursday that he feels “embarrassed” he argued against raising the country’s debt limit four years ago.

“Why is it right to increase our nation's dependence on foreign creditors?” Reid said on March 16, 2006. “Democrats won't be making an argument to support this legalization, which will weaken our country.”

In an interview Thursday on ABC’s Top Line with Jonathan Karl and Amy Walter, Reid said those comments were a mistake.

“I shouldn’t have done that. I’m kinda embarrassed I did. It was a political maneuver by we Democrats. The Republicans were in power --there were more of them,” Reid said. “The president voted when he was in the Senate the same way. I heard him apologize for it. We all should take a look at how we handle these issues, but that doesn’t take into consideration the numerous times, the numerous times I voted to raise the debt ceiling. The one time I tried to make a political issue of it, I wish I hadn’t."

Now, Reid said, Congress has no choice but to raise the $14.3 trillion limit to keep the country from defaulting on its debt in the coming months. Republicans in Congress are currently demanding serious deficit reduction measures in exchange for agreeing to President Obama’s request to raise the country’s $14.3 debt ceiling.

“We have no choice. As people on Wall Street are saying, as academics are saying, the International Monetary Fund, everybody in the world recognizes that this country, the greatest country in the history of the world, cannot default on its debt,” the Nevada senator said.

On Wednesday the president called for Reid, the Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi to nominate four members from each of their caucuses to participate in meetings led by Vice President Biden on reducing the nation’s soaring red ink.

But Reid told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he will not nominate any members of the Senate’s Gang of Six to represent Senate Democrats. The Gang of Six, a bipartisan group working behind closed doors to come up with a plan to slash the country’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade, includes Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Mark Warner of Virginia and Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and Mike Crapo of Idaho.

“I’m not going to put anybody who’s on the Gang of Six on that,” Reid said. “I think they’re two separate programs. They both have some merit. I met with Sen. McConnell this morning and we’re making a determination on what we’re going to do.”

Reid said he only found out on Saturday about President Obama’s high-profile debt-reduction speech on Wednesday. But he applauded the president for coming out with a plan.

“I think it’s so important the president took the lead on this,” Reid said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio