Congress Makes History with Budget, Smith Votes No


"What have you done for me lately?"

Many could ask that of Congress, but that was the Janet Jackson hit burning up the charts, and Maverick and Goose fought to be "Top Gun" back in 1986 -- the last time a bipartisan congress passed a budget.

"We've got plenty of issues to work on, believe me," Congressman Adrian Smith said.

Saying it's time to move forward, Rep. Smith commends congressional leaders for finding common ground, but the plan wasn't enough for him. He voted no on the budget.

He explained, "It's a tough decision, but as we look at the fiscal future of our country, I was hopeful and told a lot of folks I was hopeful sequestration could leverage, as it was intended, reform in entitlements and it didn't end up that way."

This budget restores about $65 billion in cuts made in the sequester. Smith objects. He wanted those cuts to stay.

But he has a bigger complaint.

"What I call a broken appropriations process, we need to get that working again," he said.

He said Congress runs out of time to properly debate the budget.

He said, "We need a two year budget process, similar to what we have in Nebraska. That is something we need to move toward."

In addition, Smith says the nation needs to pay down its $17 trillion debt. That's the total amount the nation owes. Deficit is new spending that puts us further in the hole, and at least in that area, Smith says Congress has made progress.

"We've changed the debate the last few years, from how much to spend, to how much to cut," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, says the budget vote may show gridlock is ending. But the Republican Smith says it won't be easy to pass immigration reform and tax relief, and other big issues still looming.

Smith said, "There are some positive signs, but yet I'm not sure the last vote will produce what some say it will produce."

Some have been critical of Smith on the Farm Bill. Some wanted Congress to stay until it passed. He said it will pass soon, but says they need to do a final number crunch during the Christmas break.