Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Murkowski votes yes, Sullivan votes no, as Senate passes major bill lifting U.S. debt ceiling

The U.S. Senate passed the debt limit bill in a 63-36 vote late Thursday night. It has already passed the House and will now be sent to the president’s desk for a signature.

Sen. Dan Sullivan voted against the bill on final passage, while Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted in favor of it.

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In all, 17 of the 49 Senate Republicans voted in favor of passage, including Senators John Boozman, AR; Shelley Capito, WV; Susan Collins, ME; John Cornyn, TX; Kevin Cramer, ND; Joni Ernst, IA; Chuck Grassley, IA; John Hoeven, ND; Mitch McConnell, KY; Jery Moran, KS; Markwayne Mullin, OK; Lisa Murkowski, AK; Mitt Romney, UT; Mike Rounds, SD; John Thune, SD; Thim Tillis, NC; and Todd Young, IN.

Sullivan said the cuts to defense spending, which occur due to inflation, is happening a one of the most dangerous times for U.S. national security in decades.

“I applaud Speaker McCarthy for his hard work in getting President Biden to negotiate a debt ceiling agreement that averts a default, reduces wasteful spending, and authorizes critically-needed permitting reforms—all of which I support. However, I could not vote for an agreement that fails one of the most critical duties of the United States Senate: adequately funding our military service members to provide for the security and defense of our nation,” Sullivan said. “This agreement inflicts significant inflation-adjusted cuts to our military, shrinking the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. This bill also will take the U.S. defense budget below three percent of GDP—a level we’ve seen just once in the past eighty years, during the peace dividend era of the late 1990s.

“We are not in a ‘peace dividend’ era today. Far from it. America’s military leaders all agree we are in the midst of one of the most dangerous periods for U.S. national security since World War II. This rushed budget simply does not meet the reality and the threats of this moment. I was disappointed that the vast majority of my Democratic colleagues voted against my amendment, which received bipartisan majority support and would have rectified some of these significant defense budget shortfalls,” he said.

During consideration of the Fiscal Responsibility Act this evening, Sen. Sullivan offered an amendment to rescind more than $70 billion in previous Internal Revenue Service (IRS) appropriations in order to fund the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Fiscal Year 2024 unfunded priorities and to fund a five percent increase to the FY 2025 budget beyond the new FY 2024 defense budget topline. All Republican senators voting supported the Sullivan amendment, but it failed to reach the 60-vote threshold for adoption.

Earlier this week, Rep. Mary Peltola of Alaska voted in favor of the bill when it was in front of the House.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act suspends the nation’s debt limit through Jan. 1, 2025, after the November, 2024 election, when all House members, the president, and 33 of the 100 members of the Senate are up for reelection.

An amendment to claw back unspent and unneeded Covid-19 funds failed, with Sen. Murkowski joining the Democrats to vote against it, while Sen. Sullivan voted in favor of it.

Sullivan offered an amendment to take money from the Internal Revenue Service, which was for more IRS agents, and put the money into the Department of Defense. That amendment failed, with all 49 Republicans voting in favor of it.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski offered a statement:

“I voted for the Fiscal Responsibility Act because it is the only way to avoid a default on the national debt just four days from now. While both the bill itself and the process that led to it were far from perfect, it will avert an economic disaster, protect the full faith and credit of the United States, and slightly improve our nation’s fiscal trajectory.

“While the Fiscal Responsibility Act fully funds veterans programs in Fiscal Year 2024, I do not believe it adequately supports the defense budget. After speaking with colleagues on both sides of the aisle, however, I believe there will be sufficient support to pass a supplemental later this year that better addresses our security needs, including continued support for Ukraine.

“I also see this measure as a series of first steps, not final agreements. It leaves us with more work to do to address our debt, reduce the spiraling costs associated with it, and begin to improve the federal permitting process. Beyond the incremental progress the Fiscal Responsibility Act makes, I hope it will build trust and create space for further bipartisan agreement in these critical areas.”

The bill is not an actual appropriations bill, but it raises the level the Department of Treasury can borrow to until after the next presidential election. It caps non-defense spending for a year, expands some work requirements for welfare, and has other provisions.

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. “I voted for the Fiscal Responsibility Act because it is the only way to avoid a default on the national debt just four days from now.”

    No it isn’t. There are many solutions. Cutting spending for one. What a small mind. I can not believe we are stuck with The Princess for another five years.

    I am very hard on Sullivan on MRA. Deservedly so (“Indefensible of Marriage Act”). But kudos here of the no vote. However, still more military spending? Unnecessary. How about an audit to see where the past trillions have gone? Why is the Pentagon refusing to do this? Allocate better your annual twice every military budget in the world- times two. And that is not including what is off the books.

    • The failure of imagination here is that we wanted a national default. It’s the only way we can reasonably get rid of all the debt. Wipe the slate clean and cut a better deal. If we still had Trump this would have gone so much better.

      • Do you think the Chinese are going to stand for that? With all the billions of dollars that we owe them, what are they going to want to call it even Stevens? Maybe four or five attack subs? Maybe the space station?

        • Everyone forgets the trillion or so we gave China during ww2. Wonder how much with interest they would owe if our politicians called in that marker….

    • Cut spending yes but that’s not going to help us this year. Bills have to be paid. What are you going to do till all the social security people that’s all the checks you’re going to get until January 1st? You’re going to tell the military to just pack their bags and go home we’ll see you in January. Hope the Chinese don’t come knocking in the mean time. Sometimes simple solutions come from simple minds..

    • Dennis;
      The honorable Senator from the great state of Alaska, Murkowski has similar positions as The greatest former U.S. Senator Pro Tempore Ted Stevens who served 42 years as they were both strongly against foreign owned pebble, both were pro-choice, both were capable of bringing oodles of money to the great state of Alaska, both pro military though Lisa was responsible for the 3 new fighter squadrons, highway infra structure package, broadband for Rural, federal income tax break for commercial fisherman who had their Exxon lawsuit cut in half by USSC, new highway bridges all over the place and on and on and on 😉

      • And where did this money come from?

        Just because both were good at frying pork for the home folks doesn’t make it ethical or proper.

        Side note: we were gonna get most of those military assets regardless of what Princess did. The military is well aware of the challenges we’re closest to AND the growing hostility from the other 4 Pacific states.

        What Princess did was ride coat tails and take credit for the obvious.

  2. Murky wants to throw more money into the murky waters of her Ukrainian sidekick Stealinski in hopes of a future kickback??? She is so Biden like has she officially adopted Hunter into Her “Family” of grifters. I am sure Her and Mary could find a job for an old washed up prostitute in Alaska.

  3. Irresponsible of Senator Sullivan to ask for more deficit military spending and then vote no, Senator Murkowski performed her responsibility to legislate.

    • It would not have created any more deficit spending than the base bill. It would have just transferred some spending from the IRS to DOD.

      • CBO estimates $580 Million in uncollected revenue every year. The IRS funding will pay for itself, the F-35 engines won’t

  4. Just remember who and where they live when this time comes to pay the bill. We then can collect from them what they owe us taxpayers.

  5. We are stuck with the faux-Republican Murkowski until we can get rid of RCV, clean up our voter rolls and have more election accountability.

  6. Widespread criminality and corruption, is the harvest of manipulating the voting process through all available manners and means, while keeping that protected by an evil ‘justice class’. Lisa is in her Liberty destroying element. That Liberty which was given to us by God, that no one can take away. In the end, a righteous judge will decide Lisa’s case…

  7. “Honey! We cannot afford to pay our debts. If we keep going like this we will end up bankrupt.”
    “No we won’t, I just got the credit card companies to raise our limits across the board. We can continue to have all of the luxuries we want.”
    Make any sense?
    Neither does raising the debt ceiling without pulling back spending. And, before someone talks about how devastating it will be to cut Social Security/Medicare/Military realize there are hundreds of billions of dollars spent every year on stuff the average US citizen will not miss in any way. Cut that useless crap before you talk about SS or Medicare. (Can anyone explain why the Kennedy Center gets millions a year? What they cannot run it as a business?)

  8. Wayne Allen Root has suggested the following battery of questions for all politicians, WHILE hooked up to a lie detector! Good enough for Navy Seals, LISA THE BABY-KILLER, should be put to this test poste haste: What questions would Wayne or I ask?

    Are you now, or have you ever been on China’s payroll? Or the CCP payroll?
    Are you now, or have you ever been on the payroll of the Mexican Drug Cartels?
    Are any of your family members, or friends on any of these foreign payrolls?
    Do you have an offshore bank account? Does anyone in your family accept payoffs in an offshore account?
    Do you accept illegal campaign contributions from any foreign interests?
    Are you on the payroll of any Big Pharma company, or vaccine manufacturer? Do you have family members or friends on the Big Pharma payroll, or receiving stock or stock options from Big Pharma?
    Are you being blackmailed, or have you ever been blackmailed?
    Have you given government contracts to spouses, family members, or friends?
    Have you passed inside information on public companies to family or friends, and shared in the profits?
    Are you 100% loyal to the interests of America and your constituents?
    This would be a good start, but Marxists are all excellent liars and may just pass the test!

  9. Leave it to Congress to call a bill that adds $4 trillion to our debt the “Fiscal Responsibility Act.” These are the same losers who gave us the “Inflation Reduction Act” which increased spending and deficits by trillions- and has demonstrably made inflation much worse.

    Adding trillions to our debt is madness. Our debt now stands at just shy of $32 trillion. It is $95,000.00 per citizen, and $248,000.00 per taxpayer. (Being a citizen and a taxpayer is not necessarily the same thing.)

    Trump and Biden, for the above reason, should not be the candidates for their respective parties. Trump was a disaster with regard to deficit spending, almost as bad as Biden. Desantis is warning us about deficit spending, and would be a reasonable choice. Plus he runs Florida on balanced budgets, which is what we need in DC before the US Dollar becomes worthless.

  10. The uniparty is alive and well. Once again, they tell the taxpayers to shove it as they continue to pour money into protecting the globalist money laundering headquarters in Ukraine. What you’re not being told is another 300 million will go to Ukraine to pay off Zelensky’s Nazi’s to protect the evidence that will prove the crimes of Obama, Biden, McCain and many other politicians currently in our government. Not a dime will go to our southern border, not a dime will go to correcting our dying economy and energy sector and they are pulling money from our military in a time of global volatility. It makes complete sense that Murkowski would vote for this monstrosity of a bill. She is compromised, bought and paid for. I am not giving Dan Sullivan a pass here because he supports wasting our money in Ukraine and killing Ukrainians by extending the war and in fact pushing us towards WW3. What happened to diplomacy Dan?

  11. I’m surprised our two Senators couldn’t // didn’t negotiate within this debt ceiling deal a “land transfer” from the Feds to the State of AK, specifically for all of ANWR and NPRA. Seems to me like these two should be pushing for this land transfer, along with all of the mineral and water rights, as Alaska are clearly better stewards of land than the Fed’s are!!!
    What exactly does Alaska get out of this debt ceiling deal?
    What exactly does Daddy’s Little Princess get out of this debt ceiling deal?

  12. Does anyone else get a REALLY bad feeling when Mcconnel, McCarthy, Lil’ Lisa, schumer, and jefferies are all on board with a spending bill?

  13. The Soviet Union collapsed primarily due to spending themselves into oblivion.

    Seems we watched this, found it a good idea, and decided to do the same.

      • Don’t even start comparing us with the Roman empire. We’re not spread too thin. The Romans couldn’t even protect Rome. Hannibal was only 15 miles away when he turned back. He didn’t know nobody was home at the time. One of the reasons Roman empire fell was from lead poisoning from the clay vessels that they ate and drank out of. It slowly poisoned the whole lot of them.

    • While I was reading JFK’s book profiles of courage I wondered if the radical republicans, as jfk spoke of them, after the civil war should had lined up their southern confederate democrat enemies at the firing wall and eliminated them to take out the opposition . President Lincoln wasn’t the type of man who would had led that effort. You know that the radical democrats today would do that to any enemy of them I think, they do hateful. The division in the United States dooming this nation appears it started right after the civil war. The radical republicans and the southern radical democrats couldn’t agree on anything, and they still can’t agree and been continuing the pre civil war debates in the government halls to this day fighting what is the best way to lead America while both are losing her; It is like two suiters fighting over a woman and she goes out riding, had an accident, and dies before either one has a chance to have her.

      • To be clear: are you suggesting the United States should have participated in wholesale executions of leaders of a defeated nation?

    • Or the division started before the civil war, the pre civil war senate debates sounded nasty mean fights between the north and south, and a war didn’t resolve and settle differences. Maybe they the radicals of the southern democrats and northern republicans should had listened to those arguing for the compromise. I think slavery could had just died out with a new generation brought up in God’s Word who’d stopped using the practice without bloodshed.

  14. The majority of people in our nation’s capital believe in allowing this. The person that ordered this should be banished from the Capitol and told never return.


  15. Murkowski had nothing to do with the military program… she just takes credit for it. It is purely military strategy. Period.

  16. Sullivan’s vote wasn’t needed, he would have voted for it if required. We have little if any representation in DC. Everything is rigged including our elections system. The swamp needs draining badly.

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