Ellmers stands fast against deal to reopen government

Posted October 16, 2013

— Republican 2nd District Congresswoman Renee Ellmers Wednesday night delivered on her promise to vote against a deal brokered in the Senate to reopen federal government and raise the nation's debt limit to avoid a default.

The Senate voted 81 to 18 Wednesday night on the legislation, which permits the U.S. Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 – or perhaps a month longer – and fund the government through Jan. 15. More than 2 million federal workers – those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed – will also be paid under the agreement.

"It just doesn't have enough in it for me to vote for it, to warrant raising the debt ceiling (and) adding to our nation's problems with spending," Ellmers said Wednesday afternoon, several hours before the House's passage by a 285-144 vote. "The issue here is that we've got to be fiscally responsible."

Much of the federal government shut down two weeks ago when Congress couldn't agree on a budget that would keep operations running past Sept. 30. House Republicans repeatedly tried to link a budget deal to eliminating funding for the Affordable Care Act, which began enrolling people on Oct. 1 for the health insurance required under the law next year.

President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats balked at linking the two, but it was the threat of hitting the debt limit and possibly defaulting on government obligations Thursday that brought the two sides to the bargaining table.

House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the top GOP leadership told their rank and file that they would vote for the measure, which doesn't affect funding for the health care law.

"This is going to pass the House with plenty of votes. It's just not going to pass with my vote," Ellmers said. "My constituents are saying to me, 'Stay strong,' and I'm going to stay strong."

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers Ellmers: Hope GOP learns from budget impasse

Sixth District Congressman Howard Coble also sided with Boehner in the House vote.

"We tried several ways to slow down this train wreck of health care reform. We tried to de-fund it or delay it for one year. We were unsuccessful," Coble said in a statement. "This vote tonight to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling is the right way to go for right now."

For House Democrats, the deal brought a combination of relief and frustration.

Fourth District Congressman David Price and 1st District Congressman G.K. Butterfield were among those who called Republicans irresponsible for bringing the U.S. to the brink of a default, which they said could have sent economic shockwaves around the world.

"Ever since our Republican colleagues took charge of the House after the 2010 election, it's been just one crisis after another," Price said. "They have governed by crisis, by provoking crises so they can get their way. That didn't work for them this time."

"The Republicans have been extreme, they've been obstructionist and they've stood in the way of a bipartisan compromise," Butterfield said. "I think they're going to see the tea leaves trending away from them."

Ellmers said she hopes that the whole episode can become a teaching moment for the GOP.

"I'm hoping that we're going to learn overall what we need to stand for, what we need to believe we can achieve in a realistic sense rather than trying to get 100 percent of something that we know we won't," she said.


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  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Oct 22, 2013

    "I've seen NO indication she [Ellmers] has the ability to engage in deliberative and independent thought on her own! Next election...I hope she is GONE! NC will not fare well under Tea Party politics!" - objectivescientist

    We all saw the same thing. To any objective observer, she is the Sarah Palin of North Carolina, and that is no good for anyone.

    That said, I read an N&O article about her this morning, and a number of District 2 voters were quoted, and supported her vote against ending the shutdown and avoiding a default. So I guess the people of this district are getting what they want and deserve. I just feel sorry for the smarter minority of voters in that district.

    Another note: the same article showed a map of the district. It was gerrymandered to the extreme to benefit a Republican. The tactic certainly works, and she's the result.

    I certainly hope someone like her would never be electable in my district.

  • SARCASTICLES Oct 21, 2013

    Renee Ellmers was picked by the Americans With Prosperity to occupy a seat in Congress for them, and was endorsed as a "Mama Grizzly" by the Grifter-In-Chief of the Tea Party, $arah Palin.

    How hysterically hilarious is it that Renee Ellmers will be faced with "purge by primary" because she ain't "Extreme and Conservative" enough?

    The GOP/Tea Party has met the enemy, it's looking at them from the mirror....picking increasingly more deranged and ignorant "candidates" every two years ain't a very good "strategery".....just sayin. Blaming the "liberal media" because you keep losing national election might make you feel better, but it ain't the truth. No brag, just fact.

  • Objective Scientist Oct 21, 2013

    "Ellmers said she hopes that the whole episode can become a teaching moment for the GOP"

    What? What does that statement mean? Does she mean that the "whole episode" of the government shutdown and literally at the brink of the USA defaulting is an episode that Republicans can use to teach...who? Themselves/each other something? To teach Democrats? To teach Independents? Who does she think needs to be on the receiving end of the "teaching moment"? This particular Congresswoman does NOT best represent the state of North Carolina!!!

  • Objective Scientist Oct 21, 2013

    I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I am a VERY INDEPENDENT independent and have been for decades.. I have been and remain an independent because I simply cannot agree 100% with either party.... especially the far left - far rignt wingnuts! I am a native, lifelong North Carolinian and Renee Ellmers represents NC in Congress... therefore I "pay attention" to what she says and does. Thus far... I have seen her - from her first day in Congress it seems - stand beside or behind Republican leaders like Boehner as they pontificated to the public. When she is the person with the microphone all I have seen her do is "parrot" - verbatim - the statements make by Boehner and/or the Tea Party. I've seen NO indication she has the ability to engage in deliberative and independent thought on her own! It is a clear understatement to say that she has been very much unimpressive as a member of Congress. Next election... I hope she is GONE! NC will not fare well under Tea Party politics!

  • hardsckull22 Oct 21, 2013


  • yesimagirl Oct 21, 2013

    If Renee Elmers wants to align herself with the shortsighted Tea Party nutjobs, let her. I hope her constituents come to their senses and vote in someone more intelligent. You don't have to be a teapartier to want improvements to the ACA. Instead of this ridiculous , poorly times drama of govt shutdown the last few weeks. They could have been highlighting the issues with ACA rollout and picking it apart. THAT could have been the story. Instead the story became "poll numbers plummet", "will Boehner retain speakership", "repubs stonewalling", "republicans held hostage by right wing faction of their own party".

    I'm so embarassed to be a member of the Republican Party right now, I want to vomit.

  • junkmail5 Oct 21, 2013

    promoting all in Congress on the same health plan as us "regular folks".

    Uh... congress is ALREADY required to use the healthcare exchanges.

    They have been since the ACA was passed in 2010.

    Please stop repeating the lies about them being "exempt"- there's no truth to it at all.

  • lawncare5 Oct 21, 2013

    Keep it up, will vote for her and anyone against Obama and his agenda.

  • Krimson Oct 21, 2013

    "Wave that Flag! Wave it High and Wide!"

  • dcec48 Oct 20, 2013

    Purely interested in SELF. Otherwise she would be out in front for term limits & promoting all in Congress on the same health plan as us "regular folks".