Here’s how Florida’s congressional delegation voted on the debt limit compromise
Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Vern Buchanan join to speak in one voice on the environment. Image via AP/Getty.

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The Fiscal Responsibility Act split Florida Republicans evenly.

Congress got a debt plan through. But the Fiscal Responsibility Act divided the Florida congressional delegation. The bipartisan bill ultimately passed on a 314-117 vote, Republicans split 149-71 on the deal, and Democrats 165-46.

In Florida, 10 of 20 Republicans voted against the bill, as did one Democrat. The bill now heads to the Senate, where Sen. Rick Scott has already promised to vote against it. But it will likely land on President Joe Biden’s desk. Biden intends to sign the deal, which he hammered out with Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy over weeks.

Here’s how Florida leaders voted on the deal, with statements when available.

Yes votes

U.S. Rep. Aaron Bean, a Fernandina Beach Republican: “President Biden refused to negotiate on the debt for 97 days. Now we have just a few options. A clean debt ceiling without any spending changes — not an option. Defaulting on our debt — no way. So, to move forward on spending less than the year before, the Fiscal Responsibility Act…it’s worth exploring. This bill isn’t perfect, but it does represent a bold first step in the right direction to get spending under control. So, I voted yes on the largest spending reduction in our nation’s history. Yes, to clawing back $28 billion in unspent COVID funds. Yes, to increasing funding for America’s national security and defense. Yes, to enacting work requirements for able-bodied adults on welfare. And we are doing all of this without raising taxes.”

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Palm Harbor Republican

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat: “Extremist Republicans in Congress never should have risked the American economy, jobs and retirement accounts to press their partisan budget that shields the wealthy and well-connected. Millionaires and corporations should pay their fair share to reduce the deficit rather than target veterans, students and seniors for harsh cuts. Thankfully, President Biden stood steadfast to protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and toxic-exposed veterans. Biden also protected historic investments in local communities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the cost-saving provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. Fortunately, the reckless brinkmanship of extreme MAGA Republicans was rejected by a large bipartisan majority.”

U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a Miramar Democrat: “A default on our debt would cause irrevocable damage to the economy, triggering a job-killing recession and raising costs across the board for American families. Our nation finds itself in a crisis because of extreme MAGA Republicans, who have used the livelihoods of working families as a bargaining chip in an abhorrent hostage-taking exercise. While I have concerns about the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, it ultimately prevents economic catastrophe and protects critical services like education, health care, veterans’ benefits and housing. I voted in support of this agreement because the consequences of a default are far too severe.”

U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, a Hialeah Republican: “After President Biden and Democrat Leader (Chuck) Schumer wasted months refusing to accept anything other than a ‘clean’ debt ceiling increase, House Republicans — under the leadership of Speaker McCarthy — reached a debt ceiling compromise that cuts back unnecessary, out-of-control government spending, while protecting our nation’s seniors, veterans and most vulnerable. Although not perfect, I commend Speaker McCarthy for leading the fight and forcing Democrats to the negotiating table. The Fiscal Responsibility Act reduces inflationary discretionary spending, claws back billions in unspent COVID dollars, slashes funding for Biden’s army of IRS agents, secures NEPA reforms to streamline the permitting process and lower energy costs, reins in government overreach, and, most importantly, avoids a default on our national debt.”

U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, a Panama City Republican: “I made a commitment to my district in November that I would help get our economy back on track. The best way to do that is prevent a debt default by supporting the Fiscal Responsibility Act. This deal is not perfect; however, it does include spending cuts and permitting reforms, makes efforts to protect defense and VA spending, and adds work requirement reforms to our safety net programs. This compromise is a first step toward reining in the Democrats’ wasteful spending.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, a West Palm Beach Democrat: “The Bipartisan Budget Agreement prevents a devastating default on our debt while protecting critical services for our: Children, Families, Veterans, Seniors, Students, Most Vulnerable. Democrats are putting People Over Politics.”

U.S. Rep. Scott Franklin, a Lakeland Republican: “Defaulting on our financial obligations is simply not an option. The full faith and credit of the United States must not be jeopardized by failing to make good on our incurred debt. My colleagues and I committed that we would not allow that to happen. However, we were also adamant that we would not continue down the well-worn path of ever-increasing federal debt with no efforts to change our spending habits. That is the insanity that has defined the federal government now for decades — under both Democrat AND Republican Administrations. President Biden and the Democrats repeatedly insisted they would only accept a clean debt ceiling increase with NO modifications to spending. We dragged them to the negotiating table and forced them to accept concessions.”

U.S. Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, an Orlando Democrat: “I commend President Biden and his administration for brokering a deal that frees our country from the Republican manufactured crisis of defaulting on our nation’s debt. Had it been up to House GOP leadership, the American people would be staring down the barrel of massive cuts to vital programs like Social Security and Medicaid and on the brink of an economic recession. But while millions of Floridians can breathe a sigh of relief that their benefits and healthcare assistance programs are going untouched — we should have never been in this position to begin with, and I remain concerned about provisions that could impact some Floridians’ access to SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.”

U.S. Rep. Carlos Giménez, a Miami-Dade Republican: “The Fiscal Responsibility Act reduces wasteful, out-of-control spending. Speaker McCarthy was able to negotiate effectively to return unspent COVID-19 funds to the American taxpayers. It’s a compromise that both sides can agree on to avoid a disastrous default.”

U.S. Rep. Laurel Lee, a Thonotosassa Republican: “The House just passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which is the largest deficit reduction bill in history. This bill includes meaningful reforms that will rein in government overreach and inflationary spending. It cuts permitting red tape, ensures veterans’ benefits, protects Medicare and Social Security, and rescinds unspent COVID funds. I applaud Speaker McCarthy for negotiating on behalf of Americans to evade a disastrous debt ceiling default. While there is more work to be done, this legislation is a powerful first step in the right direction.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, a Parkland Democrat: “What I have said for the past four months is that we must choose negotiations over default. Just as the American family has had to scale back their spending, the U.S. government must scale back (its) spending. This deal puts forward a responsible spending plan, while at the same time protecting historic investments made by Democrats. By avoiding a default, we ensured the American government pays its credit card and prevents China from overtaking the world economy.”

U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, a Jacksonville Republican: “For the first time in history, Congress will be spending LESS year-over-year under the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. This legislation will put our country back on track by cutting government spending, encouraging economic growth, easing inflation and preventing new taxes on the American people. Additionally, this bill is a strong investment in our national defense and veterans, while preserving Medicare and Social Security. Not every play can be a Hail Mary, and House Republicans can be proud we moved the ball down the field in a significant way. Under Speaker McCarthy’s leadership, we forced a negotiation on our terms, pushed President Biden to concede his top priorities, and successfully passed legislation that will hold his administration accountable for their reckless spending.”

U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar, a Coral Gables Republican: “The GOP reached a historical agreement to reduce federal spending and get our finances in order. Venezuela and Argentina default on their debt… America does not.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Kissimmee Democrat: “Today I will vote YES to protect our nation’s Full Faith and Credit. The Bipartisan Budget Agreement caps spending and extends debt ceiling for two years. It puts our fiscal house back in order after a robust pandemic response, and will keep our economy moving forward.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat: “After carefully reviewing the Bipartisan Budget Agreement negotiated by President Biden and Speaker McCarthy, which will raise the debt limit until January 2025 and reject the extreme Republican proposed funding cuts, I have decided that, on balance, I will support the deal. President Biden and House Democrats made it clear throughout this process that defaulting on our debt was never an option we would accept. Defaulting on our debt would be a dereliction of our duties as elected officials and destroy America’s economic recovery. I am appalled that Republicans attempted to hold the economy hostage despite raising the debt ceiling cleanly three times under President Trump.”

U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, a Clermont Republican: “I spent the last 72 hours reviewing the details of this bill closely. I heard from constituents, groups colleagues and more. But at the end of the day, the person with the most influence on my vote was Rhett Alan. Rhett was born on March 18 with a $95,000 bill from Washington — his portion of America’s national debt. It was with his face in my mind and love and responsibility a grandad has to his grandson that compelled me to vote yes. I owed it to Rhett, to all my grandchildren and everyone’s grandchildren to embrace an opportunity (I) haven’t had since 2014, and that is to vote for a bill in which government will spend less than it did the previous year.”

No votes

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican: “Nobody wants to default on our debt, but neither can we afford to keep spending money we don’t have. Very disappointed to see this bill increase the national debt by $4 trillion in half as many years and do very little to actually get our fiscal house in order. A vote for this bill is a vote for reinforcing Washington’s wasteful spending habits. I will be voting NO. Enough is enough!”

U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, a Gainesville Republican: “I fought hard to get our bill, the REINS Act — the largest regulatory reform in history that would save taxpayers over $2T annually — in the first House bill. It has since been cut. We can cap and cut spending, but we need to rein in big government.”

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican: “Washington’s refusal to get its house in order causes structural issues in our financial system. The people of Southwest Florida sent me here to get this place back on track. This deal doesn’t do enough. We must get serious because interest on the debt will soon outpace all other spending.”

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican: “After tonight, only four Republicans will remain in Congress who have never voted to raise the Debt Limit. I’m proud to be among them. Though the Fiscal Hawk is an increasingly endangered species in Washington, we find ourselves hunted nonetheless. The Biden-McCarthy Debt Limit deal papers over America’s problems with unknowable sums of debt, gaslighting reckless inflation-inducing spending for years. As Democrats correctly note, it locks in the radical policy choices they have made. Those choices should be reversed, not cast in cement by Republicans. The purported policy ‘wins’ are largely cosmetic budget gimmicks or waivable at Biden’s whims. As lawmakers have taken the 72 hours to read this bill, it is no surprise that Republicans moved away from the proposal as Democrats have come to love it evermore.”

U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, a St. Petersburg Republican: “I’m voting NO on the $4T debt bill. By the way, if you’re on Social Security, with the current debt and irresponsible spending, social security will be gone within 10 years.”

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, a Stuart Republican: “Is capping spending worth raising the debt ceiling? Is a one-year hiring freeze for 87,000 IRS agents worth raising the debt ceiling? These are the questions every Member needs to evaluate ahead of this week’s vote.”

U.S. Rep. Cory Mills, a Winter Park Republican: “More Dems than GOP voted for this ‘fiscally responsible’ bill, a bill that completely eliminates the debt limit for the rest of Biden’s presidency. The term for a bill that gets more Democrat votes than Republican votes is a Democrat bill.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, a Rockledge Republican: “Last month the House passed legislation to raise the debt limit while hitting the brakes on reckless spending, regaining our energy independence, boosting our economy by tackling inflation, and taking big steps to rein in the Washington Swamp. This new legislation proposes an even larger increase in the debt ceiling with little substantive change to the way Washington borrows and spends on taxpayers’ credit. For too long Washington has kicked this can down the road ignoring hard choices while putting future generations at risk. Now, at $31.8 trillion in debt, we are feeling the effects of Washington’s insatiable appetite for overspending as inflation is driving up prices and is eating away at the American dream and our quality of life.”

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican: “I’m a no. While I was originally optimistic about some of the conservative wins found in the negotiated debt ceiling package, I have read the bill, heard from hundreds of my constituents, & ultimately cannot in good conscience vote for this legislation.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, a St. Augustine Beach Republican

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Hollywood Democrat

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Timothy Woodstock

    June 1, 2023 at 3:38 pm


    Why did you vote for an Uncapped 2 year plan? Justify the second year. I’ll wait for a real answer and not that gibberish in your list of shiny toys.

    Why did you kick it past the 2024 election, you just created a lame duck Presidency and a shackled one at that?

    Why did you vote for uncapped deficits? Who does that?

    Why did you vote for this plan, you gave them a win. You took away my ability to weigh and measure spending going into the primary season, YOU BETRAYED US. THIS BILL HAD MORE DEMOCRATS THAN REPUBLICANS VOTE FOR IT, DOESN’T THAT TELL YOU SOMETHING.

    Your answers will either maybe get you re-elected or most likely TURFED OUT.

    Your list of reason’s YOU VOTED FOR THIS are all shiny toys for the uninformed ranks of your voters, Fox News and McCarthy talking points.

    Now the IRS get 85 Billion instead of 87 Billion. The deadline of Monday default is not real, you know it and we know it.

    Leadership LIED about the amount of debt, IT’s 4 Trillion and more likely 6 Trillion, Anna Luna has the receipts for that number, your Florida rep sister.

    You gave the most radical regime, with open borders, invading schools with poison, unlimited funding for Ukraine, crushing legislation for oil and gas, IRS 85,000 agents, all as a starter. For God’s sake man, you sold us out our generation will pay for this and leave the next 2-3 generations with MASSIVE DEBT.

    • miyako

      June 2, 2023 at 2:00 am

      The Socialist (Communist) Democrat party (With RINO GOP Senators,Collins,Murkowski,Thule,Romney,Coryn, and others!) are making USA a debt loser! five billion new taxes for uninsured cavid-19 virus shots For Citizens? or the Six million Illegal foreign nationals allowed under the ad min of dementia Biden’s! (Biden’s new Socialist (commie) Democrat party)

Comments are closed.


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