Rep. Vern Buchanan defends vote to end shutdown, avert default

skennedy@bradenton.comOctober 21, 2013 

MANATEE — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan last week was among 87 Republicans who joined 198 Democrats in voting “yes” on a bill to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling.

To continue an effort to shut down the U.S. government “didn’t make sense to me,” said Buchanan, of Sarasota, whose district includes most of Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“My sense is, you’ve got to do what’s the right thing, and I just felt from the beginning .. one of the things I just fundamentally believe: You’ve got to pay your bills,” the congressman said during a meeting with the Bradenton Herald Editorial Board on Monday.

“The shutdown was obviously problematic, I didn’t want to see the shutdown, I would have voted against the shutdown, obviously, but the thing that was, I think, a thousand times worse was the potential of the U.S. defaulting on our obligations, and we’ve never done that in the history of the country,” he said.

When the Oct. 16 vote occurred, Buchanan didn’t know how many Republicans would join Democrats in order to end the political stalemate, which he termed the result of “mismanagement on both sides.”

“But when I looked at all the facts, I thought it was the right thing for this congressional district, and in the bigger picture, in terms of our country,” he added.

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