WASHINGTON (WJZ)—An economic disaster averted. The debt deal is done after weeks of tense negotiations.
Adam May talked with Maryland senators about their vote.
Between federal funding and federal jobs, Maryland had a lot at stake in these budget negotiations. In round one, Maryland nearly dodged a bullet. The fight for round two is getting underway, and that fight could be just as nasty.
It will pay the bills and slash trillions in spending under a new debt reduction deal.
“It was wrenching analysis, but it was necessary,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski.
“It was the responsible thing to do,” said Senator Ben Cardin.
Maryland senators Mikulski and Cardin both voted in favor of the highly-debated deal.
“It was a true compromise,” Cardin said. “It contains some things I think are important. The debt ceiling is now increased to 2012, giving certainty to the financial markets.”
The bill requires a special team of lawmakers to come up with a long-term reduction plan. Maryland’s congressional district is split over what they want.
“I’d like to see this joint committee act responsibly to try to manage our deficit with a comprehensive plan. To me, that must include enhanced revenue,” Cardin said.
“I’m absolutely looking forward to getting rid of corporate welfare,” said Mikulski.
But Tea Party Republican Andy Harris—who voted against the deal— only wants more budget cuts.
“At this time, the worst thing we can do in the middle of what looks like it may be a double dipper recession is increase taxes,” Harris said.
Mikulski said that is not what the people want.
“This is a different crowd. They have rigidity and they’re uncompromising. And quite frankly, they don’t get that you really need a government that does things, that helps create jobs and opportunity,” she said.
Later on this year, if Congress does not approve that plan by the special committee, there is a default plan that would kick in, with trillions of additional dollars in cuts to both defense and entitlement programs. That is one thing that Maryland lawmakers on both sides agree on–that default plan would cost Maryland a lot of jobs.
Wall Street tumbled again despite the debt deal in Washington. The dow dipped below 12,000 as investors reacted to more signs of weakness in the economy.