Congressmen Messer and Rokita leave deficit hawk credentials behind to help pass budget with $1.5 trillion shortfall

INDIANAPOLIS – Once again, Congressmen Messer and Rokita proved that their claims to be deficit hawks were laughable, voting in lockstep with their party elites this morning for a budget that will add $1.5 trillion to the debt over the next ten years.

This morning, House Republicans passed a budget resolution by a narrow margin, 216-212. The budget outlined in the resolution would not only fail to balance, but would increase the debt by as much as $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The bill only received the support of Republicans, including Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita, but 20 of their GOP colleagues still defected, in many cases because of its effect on the debt.

Congressmen Messer and Rokita appear to have voted for the budget without reservation, even though both men have spent their time in congress touting their fiscal responsibility and the need to get tough on the deficit. As recently as July, Congressman Messer said that “the American people are tired of this nation continuing to pile up debt.” Meanwhile, Congressman Rokita is known for a powerpoint presentation he traveled with where he assailed the nation’s debt and has repeatedly spoken in the House about the problems with a high national debt.


Yet in the end, both men forgot their habit of speaking out against the debt to vote for their partisan, deficit-busting budget, and people have noticed. In a column Friday after it became clear the House was likely to vote on this budget, Brian Howey assailed the men and their party for going back on their word. “All these years, the deficit hawk stuff was just BS,” Howey wrote in light of the budget. “All the hawks become doves, charging up the federal credit card for the kids and grandkids to grapple with.”

“After their vote today, Congressmen Messer and Rokita have shown they’re not concerned with fiscal responsibility, they’re not concerned with credibility, and they’re certainly not worried about their rampant hypocrisy,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Senior Media Strategist for the Indiana Democratic Party. “For years, Congressman Messer and Congressman Rokita have claimed they care about the nation’s fiscal health, only for them both to throw it all away and blow up the deficit when party leaders told them to. If Hoosiers can’t trust them on this issue, what can they trust them on?”

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