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Senator Lankford Statement on Debt Ceiling Vote

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement on his vote against a bill to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government for three months, while also providing disaster relief funding. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 80 to 17:

“Two options were provided to address disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey: one stand-alone bill, which I fully supported and a second option that included Hurricane Harvey relief, a debt ceiling increase, and short-term funding until December 8, which I did not support. Disaster relief and the debt ceiling should have been completely separate. It has become abundantly clear that Washington no longer sees the debt limit as a chance to actually tackle our runaway debt problems. Rather, it is used as a political football to move through the pending business of the day, instead of an opportunity to offer responsible, forward-thinking plans to save future generations from today’s out-of-control spending decisions.

“The debt limit debate should force Congress to address our growing debt. In Fiscal Year 2016 alone, we had a $587 billion deficit and our federal debt is now an outrageous $19.8 trillion. Whenever Congress debates the debt ceiling, we must enact spending reforms or a plan to address our deficit. Months ago, I laid out a reasonable plan for the debt ceiling that would direct our focus toward addressing the debt and providing predictability to the markets. In another three months, we will debate the debt ceiling again; hopefully, we will consider serious reforms and debt reductions at that time.”

Lankford did vote in favor of a stand-alone disaster relief bill, that was offered by Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), however, that bill failed.