Hawaii's congressional delegation reacts to debt crisis - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's congressional delegation reacts to debt crisis

U.S. Senate U.S. Senate
Rep. Mazie Hirono Rep. Mazie Hirono
Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa
Senator Daniel Inouye Senator Daniel Inouye
Senator Daniel Akaka Senator Daniel Akaka

By Sean Ibara

WASHINGTON (HawaiiNewsNow) - The House and Senate took up Speaker John Boehner's plan to cut billions of dollars in spending, without raising taxes. The measure passed the house by a slim margin of 218 to 210.

A few hours later, the Senate struck down the proposal as expected.

Now, an effort is underway to support Senator Harry Reid's measure, which is gaining steam among fellow democrats.

Congress has until Tuesday to come up with a plan before the nation defaults on its bills.

Earlier we spoke with our local congressional delegation who say a deal has to be reached.

"I voted against the Boehner plan because it's not the kind of compromise that the people of Hawaii want which is a balanced plan," said Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.

Hirono emphasized that she's not going to accept a bill that puts social security, medicare, and medicaid in jeopardy for thousands of senior citizens.

Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa says she's also heard from her constituents, after holding a telephone town hall meeting on Tuesday.

"We are doing our part by making it very clear that we will not support matters or any kind of bill that would have any threats to social security, and we believe in social security, medicare must be preserved," said Hanabusa.

Both Hirono and Hanabusa say if an agreement is not reached in time, the result would be catastrophic.

"If we default, the interest rates will go up and people's mortgages will go up, then every car payments will go up, and credit cards rates will go up, and that's the bad thing," said Hirono.

On the Senate side, Senator Dan Inouye released a statement before today's vote saying, "We're going to defeat it and offer our version".

Senator Dan Akaka also commented late this afternoon shortly after the senate vote.

"I voted to defeat House Speaker Boehner's short-sighted bill.  His proposal would hurt medicaid, medicare, and social security."

The earliest a vote could come on Senator Reid's proposal in the full senate is Saturday evening Hawaii time.

 

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