Debt Ceiling Debate Splits Congressional Delegation
The federal debt-ceiling compromise got mixed support from California lawmakers in both houses of Congress. In the Senate, Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer supported the measure. The bill was also approved by San Diego's Brian Bilbray, Darryl Issa, and Susan Davis in the House of Representatives. But San Diego's most conservative and most liberal lawmakers rejected the measure.
GOP Congressman Duncan Hunter objected to part of the deal that opens the door to possible military funding cuts. House Democrat Bob Filner rejected the compromise because it only called for spending cuts and not revenue enhancements. UCSD Economist James Hamilton said he wasn't surprised by the split.
"It seemed to be the best that could be forged at the last minute and most of the moderates from either party seemed to go along with it," said Hamilton, speaking on KPBS' Midday Edition.
The package does little to help the sluggish labor market, according to Hamilton, and cutting spending will result in the loss of jobs. That may not be the best strategy while the economy is struggling, he added.
"Fortunately in the agreement that they just signed there are limited cuts in the near term," said Hamilton. "But I don't see any way that this process or the outcome is going to be helpful for us in terms of employment."