KALAMAZOO, Mich. — U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga told Newschannel 3 anchor Andy Dominianni late Wednesday that he would be voting for the current debt ceiling bill.
“This is a positive step in the right direction and so I do plan to vote for it," said Huizenga.
Although the Congressman says the compromise deal brokered by President Biden and House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy is less than ideal, it does set into motion some key spending cuts and paves the way for others.
"It’s a start. This is not the end. But there are some real reforms in here both in how we are spending money and also what the future of our appropriations process looks like," said Huizenga. " Currently 75% of our entire federal government spending is on auto-pilot. That means I don’t vote for it. None of the Senators votes for it."
And that, said the Congressman, needs to change.
Some Democrats, including Michigan's Debbie Dingell, said they are criticizing these provisions in the bill.
"I'm still undecided. I mean, I'm angry that we are being held hostage and we are continuing to be held hostage because we do not have a choice. I think to a Democrat, none of us believe that we can default on the debt ceiling," Dingell said.
House lawmakers are expected to go through a process of offering and voting on amendments to the bill before a final vote, which is expected Wednesday evening.
Rashida Tlaib (12th District), was the only representative from Michigan who voted against the bill.
"This was nothing more than a GOP power stunt to force cruel cuts to the social safety net and extract concessions that could never otherwise move through Congress," Tlaib said. "This reckless political game was about helping their billionaire donors and wealthy corporations dodge taxes and pad record profits at the expense of the rest of us."
In an interview with News Channel 3 on Wednesday, Huizenga also mentioned his Memorial Day visit to Portage to honor SW Michigan Veterans last weekend.
His father was a WW2 veteran, who was critically injured 2 days before Christmas 1944, when his plane went down.
“My dad was disabled in a B24 crash 2 days before Christmas," said Huizenga. "Of the fifteen men on the plane only 5 of them walked away. I’m thinking of their families and those that they left behind all in sacrifice for our country. We've got a duty, in my mind, to not forget them."
Huizenga also touted pending legislation, called the "HALT Fentanyl Act," that would crack down on drug trade in West Michigan by reclassifying the drug itself, providing mandatory minimum sentences, and better arming law enforcement to combat the drug illegal distribution.
"We’ve got to give our prosecutors and our law enforcement officials better tools, more complete tools, as they’re going to fight this poison that’s hitting our streets," said Huizenga.