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Boehner bill passes; Hawaii delegation votes no

By Star-Advertiser staff and Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 1:10 p.m. HST, Jul 29, 2011


Hawaii U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa were in the minority as the Republican -controlled House voted to approve Speaker John Boehner's plan to avert debt default.

The House vote was 218-210, almost entirely along party lines.

"I could not support Speaker Boehner's short-term plan because it puts us back in this same situation a few short months from now - and puts off making the tough decisions we need to make to restore our economic integrity," Hanabusa said in a statement shortly after the vote. "We need to pass a responsible, bipartisan plan that helps reduce our deficit, creates jobs, and promotes our economic growth."

The legislation would provide a quick $900 billion increase in U.S. borrowing authority — essential to allow the government to continue paying all its bills — along with $917 billion in cuts from federal spending.

It was rewritten hastily overnight to say that before any additional increase in the debt limit could take place, Congress must approve a balanced budget-amendment to the Constitution and send it to the states for ratification.

The proposal was likely dead on arrival in the Senate, and the White House has indicated President Barack Obama would veto the proposal.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had an alternative measure to cut spending by $2.2 trillion and raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion, enough to meet Obama's terms that it tide the Treasury over until 2013.

Hawaii senior U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye said, "We're going to defeat it and offer our version."

Fellow Democrat U.S. Sen. Dan Akaka also supports the Reid plan over Boehner's proposal.

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