While the Republican Party falls into senseless internal combat after fringe elements fought to tank the federal government, one of Manatee County's congressman offered a sound statement after his vote to re-open government and prevent a debt default.
A Longboat Key Republican, Rep. Vern Buchanan issued this common sense remark: "Jeopardizing the full faith and credit of the United States by defaulting on our obligations was not an option. There is no question that we need to reduce spending and balance the budget, but not by degrading America's credit rating and destroying our credibility."
Buchanan was one of 87 Republicans in the House and 27 in the Senate who joined Democrats in approving the bipartisan legislation, essential to avoiding another economic disaster. After ignoring the shrill and unreasonable voices against the measure, some leading Republicans lashed out at the opposition.
Manatee County's other congressman, Rep. Tom Rooney, joined Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and other Republicans in the reckless rejection of the legislation. Rooney's sprawling district includes East Manatee.
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson joined his fellow Democrats in unanimous support of the bill.
Buchanan also offered an observation in the wake of the weeks-long congressional stalemate: "Final passage at the 11th hour came at a cost of weakened public confidence in Washington's ability to manage the nation's affairs." Indeed, public approval ratings fell -- particularly for the GOP.
We salute Congressman Buchanan's pragmatic approach and his call for bipartisan work on the budget and deficit as Washington returns to work on both before the next deadline.