U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) tells WZFG News that he voted against a 2% across the board spending cut because it didn't address his concerns about federal spending. The proposed amendment, introduced by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, was voted down 67-24. It had been attached to the spending bill being debated in the Senate.
Twenty-five Republicans voted no, along with most of the 47 Democrats in the Senate. Among those voting no were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-N.C.).
Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican, has repeatedly tried to introduce amendments to cut down on government spending, but has been unsuccessful. The bill did not get a single Democrat vote. A number of prominent Republicans voted yes, including Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
Cramer tells WZFG, "I voted against the Paul amendment. It is unserious legislation meant more as a gimmick than a serious proposal and does not even address one of the main drivers of our debt: mandatory spending. I will not vote for a political stunt which would hurt our farmers while failing to fix our government’s actual spending problem.”
North Dakota's other senator, John Hoeven (R), tells WZFG's Scott Hennen that he voted against it for the same reasons given by Cramer.
The bill was boosted by the Club for Growth which said: “The National Debt exceeds $22 trillion and the federal government is incurring over $1 trillion in annual deficits for FY2020 and beyond. Congress needs a plan to balance the federal budget and reign in spending. This amendment would begin to put federal spending on a path to balance by cutting two percent in spending for FY2020 from the FY2019 enacted level.”