North Carolina's two U.S. senators voted against the federal budget bill approved in the wee hours Saturday morning -- but for very different reasons.
Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, voted against the spending plan put forth by her party because she was concerned about the cuts to the military. But Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican, cast a dissenting ballot because the federal spending cuts didn't go far enough to reduce the nation's debt.
Hagan: "I am concerned that the $240 billion in cuts to defense spending called for in this budget resolution are too deep," she said in a lengthy statement. "Our military is already grappling with the deep cuts forced by sequestration this year, and in order to prevent damage to our national security and military communities I strongly believe that any further cuts should only be made in cooperation with our military leadership. I am concerned that the cuts in this budget could further hamper our military’s ability to maintain readiness, while also harming the military communities across North Carolina."
At the same time, Hagan praised the Senate for incorporating her amendments to support military families and strengthen trade enforcement, the statement said.
Burr: “This budget adds trillions of dollars to the nation’s debt, despite also raising taxes by more than $1 trillion," he said in a statement. "We need a budget that cuts federal spending, provides for serious, comprehensive reform of our tax code, and places our social safety net programs on a sustainable footing. This budget does none of these things, and shows once again that Senate Democrats are unserious about addressing them."
The budget passed 50-49. Hagan was one of four Democrats to vote against the budget -- all in politically sensitive re-election battles next year.