Erik Paulsen votes for compromise bill

He was among the minority of Republicans to approve the measure

by Tad Johnson

Sun Thisweek


U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen joined John Kline, and voted yes last week on legislation to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.

Kline and Paulsen were two of the Republicans who voted for the compromise that tasks a joint House-Senate committee with developing a budget deal before mid-December. Some one-third of Republicans joined Democrats to vote yes on the compromise, and reopen the federal government. All of Minnesota’s Democrats voted yes; Republican Michele Bachman cast the only no vote.

“I’m disappointed in the process and hoped for a better outcome, including the repeal of the medical device tax,” said Congressman Paulsen. “We need to reopen the government and avoid a national default. Washington needs to get serious about its spending problems and Congress must work together to earn back the trust of the American people.”

“Today, members of Congress were asked to make a difficult decision,” Kline said in a statement released Thursday. “Ultimately, I was not willing to put the full faith and credit of the United States at risk. Congress and the White House must put country first. The result was imperfect, but it was a temporary solution I believed was in the best interest of Americans.”

Republicans sought changes to the Affordable Care Act before agreeing to raise the debt ceiling, but no alterations were made to the federal health care law through Wednesday night’s action.

Kline says he will continue to press for changes in the so-called Obamacare law.

“Moving forward, we must address runaway spending, the debt, and failed policies like Obamacare that are barriers to our economic recovery and threaten the future of our children and grandchildren,” Kline said in the statement. “Our record-high debt is as much the result of failed leadership as it is failed policies that grew government instead of our economy. We must tackle the pressing issues Americans sent us to Washington to face.”

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Stillwater, was the only Minnesotan to vote no on the compromise plan along with 143 other House Republicans. Eighty-seven House Republicans voted for it.

Bachmann told Devin Henry of MinnPost “this was a fight worth having.”

“Ultimately (this fight)’s about what type of government we want to have,” she said. “The president is insisting that he be the only decision-maker when it comes to something as crucial as the budget. What we’re saying is that’s not the way our government works.”

Democrat U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken voted for the measure. Democratic Congressmen and women Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson and Tim Walz also voted yes on the agreement.

The House voted 285-144 to approve bill, which funds the government until Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. The Senate voted 81-18.


Sun ThisWeek managing editor Tad Johnson can be reached at