Politics

Government Shutdown Ends, Debt Crisis Averted Despite Protests of Florida Republicans

If you woke up this morning with a hard-on for sky-high interest rates, a hankering for anarchy, and hopes of seeing the sobbing shell of our once-stately president crumpled over the corpse of Obamacare, we have some bad news for you.

Last night, Congress voted to end the 16-day government shutdown and raise the nation's debt ceiling, narrowly avoiding a fiscal crisis that promised to upset international markets and cost Americans trillions of dollars.

But don't thank Florida Republicans. Almost two-thirds of them voted against the deadline deal.

In the end, 11 of 18 our conservative congressional stewards voted to drive this country's crazy train straight over the fiscal cliff. In other words, 61 percent of Florida Republicans are certifiably insane.

Leading the loco lobby was Sen. Marco Rubio. Clearly butt-hurt by the Tea Party's turn toward rival Hispanic heartthrob Ted Cruz, Rubio was one of 18 Senate Republicans to refuse to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government.

Florida's junior senator even found the free time to give Obamacare the finger. (Florida Democrat Bill Nelson voted in favor of legislation to lift the debt ceiling.)

But close on Rubio's rabid coattails were ten conservative members of the House. Here is how Florida's finest voted last night:

Democrats -- Brown, Y; Castor, Y; Deutch, Y; Frankel, Y; Garcia, Y; Grayson, Y; Hastings, Y; Murphy, Y; Wasserman Schultz, Y; Wilson, Y.

Republicans -- Bilirakis, Y; Buchanan, Y; Crenshaw, Y; DeSantis, N; Diaz-Balart, Y; Mica, N; Miller, N; Nugent, N; Posey, N; Radel, N; Rooney, N; Ros-Lehtinen, Y; Ross, N; Southerland, N; Webster, Y; Yoho, N; Young, X.

Miami Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen both voted in favor of the bill.

But overall, Florida had more "No" votes (ten) than any other state except Texas (which had 23).

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.