Omaha Public Radio News
3:09 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Johanns votes for, Nelson votes against debt ceiling bill

Omaha, NE – Nebraska's junior U.S. Senator says he doesn't believe the debt ceiling law approved Tuesday by Congress goes far enough.

Senator Mike Johanns voted for the debt ceiling bill. It was signed in to law Tuesday afternoon by President Obama. The legislation contains two trillion dollars in cuts.

But Johanns says even with a debt ceiling agreement in place, there's no guarantee the U.S. credit rating is secure. "The rating agencies have been saying that we're on watch, we could come off of triple A and be downgraded to double A, the impact of that is that higher interest rates are then paid to those who will then buy the debt, and that gets passed on to the bottom line, which is the taxpayers."

Johanns says Congress needs to focus on additional spending cuts. He says 80 percent of federal spending is on five programs.

Johanns' comments came Tuesday during his weekly conference call with Nebraska media. Senator Ben Nelson voted against the debt ceiling legislation.