U.S. Senator Tim Scott was one of seven members of the South Carolina Congressional Delegation to vote “no” on the 11th hour deal to end the government shutdown and raised the debt ceiling. Scott says one of the reasons he voted against the deal to end the government shutdown– was the surprises hidden in the bill. ”I thought it was interesting that we added $174,000 for the widow of a senator who happens to be an incredibly wealthy person. I thought it was also interesting that when you look at the limits that we had within the continuing resolution, we increased funding for some of our federal highway administration emergency funds for Colorado from $100 million to $450 million all without a single word of debate.”
Senator Lindsey Graham and 6th District Congressman Jim Clyburn voted for the deal.
The latest continuing resolution will fund the government to January 15. Scott says he knows the American people are frustrated with lawmakers in Washington after the shutdown and he thinks the chance of a similar impasse happening in the next few months is minimal.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we have learned a valuable lesson, and that is to use all the time available and don’t let this come to the last hour right before midnight. We’ve done that, unfortunately, it seems for decades and I think it is starting to catch up with us.”
Moving forward, the House and Senate have a chance to have budget meetings by mid-December to reach a working relationship. Scott feels that those talks have a good chance of being fruitful.
“I think they will find some kind of common ground. There is not a lot of it between the Senate budget and the House budget, but perhaps we can have a conversation about real tax reform and saving out entitlements. We need to save Social Security, save Medicare and that means we’re going to have to manage our resources effectively.”
Scott says the media characterization that the shutdown has caused a riff in the Republican Party with the Tea Party at the forefront is wrong.
“I don’t know that there is a huge riff in the Republican Party. I thought you saw both the Republican side and the Democrat side in the House and Senate that there was momentum to figure out how to move this debate forward and we disagree on how we get there, but we all agree we need to get there.”