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Ill. delegation votes to end government shutdown

Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 11:00 a.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — The lone member of Illinois' congressional delegation to vote against increasing the nation's borrowing limit said in a statement that he couldn't support the legislation because it ignores the nation's "massive debt."

Eighteen members of the Illinois delegation voted Wednesday evening for the measure to end the partial government shutdown. But Winfield Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren was the only Illinois vote against the bill. Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush didn't vote because he's on leave to care for his ailing wife.

"The debt crisis is not make-believe, and I was not elected to stand by while we sacrifice our children's future for short-term political gain," Hultgren said in a statement. "...It's ridiculous to pay lip service to addressing our debt every few months and then do nothing. Procrastinating on our debt endangers our economic well-being."

Wednesday's vote ended the 16-day partial shutdown just hours before a national default. The stalemate began when Republicans tried unsuccessfully to use must-pass funding legislation to derail the president's landmark health care law.

This week's deal permits the Treasury to borrow normally through Feb. 7 and funds the government through Jan. 15. More than 2 million federal workers would be paid — those who had remained on the job and those who had been furloughed.

A majority of Republicans in the Senate supported the bill, while two-thirds of Republicans in the House opposed it.

Republican Rep. Rodney Davis said that while he opposes the president's health care law, the shutdown that furloughed as many as 800,000 workers was "absolutely unacceptable."

He said a default would have had "disastrous effects on an already-fragile economy."

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider said the deal was "far from perfect."

"It is irresponsible and reckless that some in Washington continue putting ideology ahead of our economic recovery," he said in a statement. "We are facing important fiscal challenges, and our focus should be on finding common sense, long-term solutions, not on holding our economy hostage over narrow ideologies. This package is far from perfect, but it does move us beyond the current crisis and opens a path to constructively address our fiscal issues."

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