- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - In a story Feb. 19 about an interview with Sen. Mike Enzi that covered his views on addressing the national debt, The Associated Press reported erroneously a vote by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on an increase in the debt limit. Barrasso voted against the measure, not for it.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Sen. Mike Enzi stands by no votes on debt limit

Sen. Mike Enzi stands by his no votes on raising debt amid threat of another federal shutdown


Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Sen. Mike Enzi is standing by his recent votes against raising the federal debt limit, saying lawmakers and President Barack Obama need to have a plan to get federal spending and the national debt under control.

Interest alone on the debt is on track to surpass current military spending, Enzi said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.

He referred to a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate that such payments could reach $880 billion annually in 10 years. The 2014 U.S. military budget is about $630 billion.

“No plan, no vote. I really do expect that they ought to be able to come up with a plan,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be my plan. But there’s no plan out there.”

Most Republicans had been eager to avoid another showdown over shutting down the federal government after last year’s shutdown instigated by their party.

But last week, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz sought to filibuster a bill to raise the federal debt ceiling. That meant the measure needed not a simple majority but at least 60 votes to move ahead.

Not raising the debit limit could have shut down the government again, yet Enzi and Cruz voted twice against the debt-ceiling bill. Both were among the minorities in a 67-31 vote to end the filibuster on the bill and 55-43 vote to pass it.

Wyoming’s other Republican senator, John Barrasso, voted for a motion to allow the bill to proceed to a vote, but he voted against the bill itself.

“I’ve found that if you give away all of your negotiation points, you usually don’t wind up very good at negotiating,” Enzi said. “And at some point, we’ve got to figure out a way to get the spending under control, or at least to get the revenues to match up with the spending.”

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