New York Congressman Eliot Engel wants to make one thing crystal clear: although he voted to keep the government funded this week, it doesn't mean he's happy with the short-term spending bill.
Roughly 12 hours after casting his vote for a bridge bill that keeps the government's lights on until Thursday, Engel told Fox News, "I voted to keep negotiating."
When asked if he would support the current budget deal when it came time to vote, Engel responded, "No, I most certainly will not."
Engel, whose district includes the Bronx, tells Fox News, "I don't think I can vote for a program that hurts my constituents, essentially middle class, at the same time continuing the tax breaks for the rich. I don't think it's fair. I don't think it's right."
While Republicans argue that tough cuts are needed to combat the debt, Engel says the GOP is to blame for the deficit that has soared past $14 trillion.
"We borrowed money to sustain the Bush tax cuts, we borrowed money to fight two wars, we borrowed money to have Medicare Part D," said the New York Democrat. "We had a balanced budget when Bill Clinton left office, and now, when George Bush left office, we have a deficit as far as the eye can see."
Engel added that while he's "as concerned about the deficit as anybody," slashing the budget won't get the job done.
"Republicans want to just cut and I don't think that's the way to go," said Engel. "I think we have to cut, but I think we have to cut along with looking at our tax priorities."