House Republicans to hold vote on debt limit increase
May 24th, 2011
03:04 PM ET
3 years ago

House Republicans to hold vote on debt limit increase

Washington (CNN) – House Republican leaders have scheduled a vote next week to raise the debt limit without any spending cuts attached in order to demonstrate that a so-called "clean extension" preferred by President Barack Obama and some congressional Democrats cannot pass in the GOP-majority chamber.

According to several aides, GOP leaders announced the move Tuesday at their regular weekly meeting with rank and file Republicans.

The Republican proposal, sponsored by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, would raise the Treasury's borrowing authority by $2.4 trillion, which is the same amount in Obama's proposed budget, and would give the Treasury Department the authority to continue paying its bills through December 2012.

The vote is not expected to get any Republican support, dooming its chances of winning House approval.

Bipartisan negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden are continuing this week on proposals to cut federal spending and potentially reform entitlement programs.

Republican leaders intend for the planned House vote to demonstrate that Democrats seeking a "clean extension" are not serious about reducing the deficit, an issue voters continue to rank as among the most important priorities this year.

Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, has been pushing for a clean vote in the House to raise the debt limit, saying he has more than 100 Democrats signed on to support such a bill. Democrats who want a "clean" bill say they prefer to separate the debt-ceiling vote from spending cuts because a protracted political debate on the issue would put at risk the "full faith and credit" of the United States.
However, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has insisted that any increase in the debt limit must be linked to spending cuts greater than the amount that the borrowing authority is raised.

"The Obama administration's request for a debt limit increase without spending cuts is dangerous for jobs and our economy, and the American people reject it," said Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, adding, "This vote will show that the administration's proposal cannot pass in the House, and that major spending cuts and reforms must be part of the solution."

Before word of the GOP proposal made its way around Capitol Hill, the number two House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told reporters that he and a "significant number" of Democrats supported a clean extension. Later, however, Hoyer put out a statement qualifying his earlier comments by saying he would not vote for a debt limit extension if it's only to make a political point.

"We need to pursue a responsible course to pay our bills and set forward a plan to reduce our deficits. I hope Republicans will work with us toward those goals, rather than making this a partisan issue used for political gain," Hoyer's statement said.

Hoyer also warned Tuesday that holding a vote to prove a straight extension can't pass would have ramifications beyond sending a message to Democrats.

"It'll be a message to the world; it will be a message to the financial community, a message to investors and borrowers," Hoyer said.

Brad Dayspring, spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, agreed that the vote will prove a political point.

"Next week the House will vote to show once and for all that the Democrats' demands are way out of touch with the views of most Americans and the markets who want Washington to stop spending money we don't have, confront our debt head on, and finally begin to live within our means," Dayspring said.

Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, dismissed the move by Republicans as a "dangerous political stunt." Levin acknowledged that Congress should take steps to cut spending, but said a failed vote on the issue would result in a backlash from the financial markets.

"We should set a framework for immediate and long-term deficit reduction, but not by ending Medicare and doubling seniors' health care costs, as Republicans have advocated," Levin said. "And not by threatening a default that numerous economists and CEOs have warned would have calamitous consequences and jeopardize our economic recovery."

Updated 3:05 p.m.


Filed under: Debt • House Republicans
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. rob

    Senate Democrats have not voted on or passed a federal budget in more than 2 YEARS. It is their constitutional duty to pass budgets and have the President sign them. The only budget we have from Dems is the Presidents own proposal which he later had to admit was not serious because it projected TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICITS FOR TEN YEARS that everyone knows would be catistrophic for the country. Paul Ryan and the republicans need someone or something to negotiate with and they certainly won't negotiate with themselves.

    The only way to commit Dems to any serious budget cuts is this debt ceiling issue because they read the real polls not just the New York Times editorials. The American people want serious leadership from rational adults

    May 24, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. RobertFTL

    People who are pro the GOP stance must realize that tax increases and cuts to defense and oil subsidy are a must too.

    May 24, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Just an effort to increase the sense of threat and fear and thereby increase instability and uncertainty in the economy to hamper and delay recovery and then blame it on Obama. They won't do it when the deadline comes...they can't...they don't have the backbone...so they'll stage this little mock-up in order get what they can out of it for 2012. It's interesting to note that it's been 5 months without the GOP proposing even ONCE a bill or legislation designed to create jobs, loosen credit or help the recovery...just social conservative garbage instead. And when it comes down to it, they not only choose to skip passing that kind of legislation, but engage in shenanigans purposefully designed to hurt the economy, so they can try to take advantage of bad statistics in 2012. If they really think that their economic terrorism will convince everyone to let them obliterate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in exchange for not ruining the nationa's credit rating, then I say go for it: WE DARE YOU.

    May 24, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    paul
    Why do the Republicans and John Boehner continue to lie. Obama proposal does include spending cuts. Tell Boehner to start with cutting subsidies to big oil and to tax the top 2% of income earners.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Unless you are one of them, the top 2% of income earners pay more tax as a percentage of income than you do. The Bush tax cuts were for everyone, but the higher wage earners still pay a higher percentage.

    May 24, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. gt

    get our troops home, cut defense ... find all the cheats on social security , medicare , and food stamps... that would help a ton..

    May 24, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    rob wrote:
    Senate Democrats have not voted on or passed a federal budget in more than 2 YEARS. It is their constitutional duty to pass budgets and have the President sign them.
    -------------------------
    You forgot to mention why they have not even *voted* on a budget. In a word FILIBUSTER. That is what Senate Republicans promised to do (and did) to attempts by Congress to pass a budget last spring, summer and fall.

    May 24, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Bill

    Hey Mick-

    Social Security is not a giveaway. People pay into their entire working lives. I have paid over $250,000 into the program since I started working 30 years ago and expect to some return on that. And guess what, I have planned for my retirement and you are certainly not supportting it. Get a grip.

    May 24, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:
    Sniffit wrote:
    Just an effort to increase the sense of threat and fear and thereby increase instability and uncertainty in the economy to hamper and delay recovery and then blame it on Obama. They won't do it when the deadline comes...they can't...they don't have the backbone...so they'll stage this little mock-up in order get what they can out of it for 2012.
    ----------------------–
    Oh yes, they can and you can bet that they will. As you said, it is all part of a master scheme to make Obama a one-term President. An event such as defaulting on the national debt is an unforgiveable blemish to have on one's record. The GOTP has simply failed to realize whose record is on the chopping block. They are driving all of us right of a cliff so they can point the finger at President Obama.

    May 24, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. johnmenacherjr

    So whatever happened to all the jobs the Repubs were going to create. The only thing I see are policing of moralles, cut cut grandma, stupidity, more nonsense and here in wisconsin instability that has people and businesses moving out. Gosh the only way things could get better would be if I was on a hallucingin or something!

    May 24, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. DAK

    "The American people want serious leadership from rational adults"

    No they don't or they never would of voted for any Republican last year. None of the current GOPers in DC (or the state level for that matter) are adults or serious in their leadership (and I use leadership very, very loosely at that.) NONE of the Republicans are leaders if your definition of a leader is a person who says "Follow me!" as opposed to the "leader" that says "Go do this and I'll be here when you get back."

    May 24, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Four wrote:
    Unless you are one of them, the top 2% of income earners pay more tax as a percentage of income than you do. The Bush tax cuts were for everyone, but the higher wage earners still pay a higher percentage.
    ------------------------------------------
    That is flat out false. Warren buffet was surprised to find out that he pays a lower percentage than his $50k.year assistant. The Bush Tax Cuts were for everyone who could afford to invest. He raised taxes but increased the number of deductions you can take on your investments. People complained for years during the GWB years about the AMT.

    May 24, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Four wrote:
    Efficient government management is more effective at reviving the economy than just throwing money at the problem. The Republicans just having the house now have had the impact of reducing Obama and Reid's original annual budget by $100 billion.
    Even without "jobs bills", unemployment started dropping as soon as November results were in. I'm sure you are as pleased as we all are to see the improvements.
    -------------------------–
    So if "Republicans just having the house now have had the impact of reducing Obama and Reid's original annual budget", why do you and others who share your views keep complaining about Obama hever having submitted a budget plan?

    As far as unemployment goes, the numbers have come a long way from losing 700,000 per month. Since you say that Republicans did not have an impace until Nov/2010, I guess that means Democrats get the credit. In fact, the numbers would be even better if Republicans have not cut so many public jobs; like teachers, firefighters, and policmen all in the name of a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.

    May 24, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Ptown

    The games have to stop! the repubs love their jobs more than the country. Stop letting the "tea party" influence house decisions.

    May 24, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  14. Busted2010

    @Four and The Door – the biggest problem with your comment is the complete lack of facts. The republicans are the ones who spent this country to the brink of bankruptcy. Here's a fact that's always difficult for republicans to understand, but oddly enough does not change thier rhetoric or finger pointing, under Jimmy Carter the debt to GDP decreased, DECREASED, und Reagan the debt to GDP increased, INCREASED, under Bush Sr and Jr the debt to GDP increased, INCREASED and under Clinton the debt to GDP decreased, DECREASED. Do you get this? Even Jimmy Carter cut the debt relative to GDP every republican president we've had over the past thirty years has increased the national debt, with Bush Jr a true conservative really doing the most damage. Sorry people but facts are facts and facts are facts, republicans are responsible for our massive national debt because of both their tax cuts and wild spending habits.

    May 24, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. rob

    Rudy the Dems never even proposed a budget in the House or the Senate last year. The Democrats in the House could have brought up and voted on any budget they wanted, they didn't because of the pending elections. Dems can't be honest about what they want to do because the American people will never support them

    Peolsi said it best, "We have to pass the bill so you can see whats in it" ENOUGH SAID.

    May 24, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. tulsa, ok

    Rob,
    Yes! Why hasn't the Senat voted on any budget bill?
    OH, Right, the "loyal" minority won't let anything come to the floor...... what a bunch of true Americans. NOT

    May 24, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. rob

    Rudy, How exactly did Republicans "Cut so many public jobs"? Govt jobs in all sectors have been increasing steadily for years including these last three when the private sector was shedding jobs. The Stimulus was a one time transfer to the states to keep their employees and put off the inevitible day (NOW) when they would become to expensive to keep.

    As far as "tax cut for the wealthiest Americans." President Obama signed the extension of those HORRIBLE tax cuts in DECEMBER...stating that it was needed to "Spur Job Creation", which it did.

    May 24, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    rob wrote:
    Rudy the Dems never even proposed a budget in the House or the Senate last year. The Democrats in the House could have brought up and voted on any budget they wanted, they didn't because of the pending elections. Dems can't be honest about what they want to do because the American people will never support them

    Peolsi said it best, "We have to pass the bill so you can see whats in it" ENOUGH SAID.
    -------------------------------------------
    Your facts are horribly twisted. Please read what you write. For example, if Democrats never brought a budget to the House last year, then how is it possible for Pelosi to have made the quote you cited? You quote is grossly out of context.

    And if Democrats "never even proposed a budget in the House or the Senate", then we would have heard about it because as you say, they would have been in violation of the law. Proposals were submitted to committees. Legislation was not put to votes because of Senate filibusters.

    May 24, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Anthony

    If Republicans cause the government to default, this means that the government will not be able to meet its obligations. One of which, in case Republicans need reminders, is Social Security. Republicans, you are seeing what the Ryan plan is doing to your supposedly safe district in NY-26. Do Republicans want to play games with Social Security?

    By the way, the sum of the interest payment on our national debt and the mandatory spending- including Social Security and Medicare- is more than the total tax revenues that the government takes in. A default will means no money for discretionary spending, which, in case Republicans need reminders, includes defense. Do Republicans want to play games with our troops who are still in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    May 24, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    Busted2010

    @Four and The Door – the biggest problem with your comment is the complete lack of facts. ...Sorry people but facts are facts and facts are facts, republicans are responsible for our massive national debt because of both their tax cuts and wild spending habits.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I don't see your point. It is clear that the ones resisting spending cuts are Democrats. We can argue all day about who got us here and I will agree Republicans spent a lot too. But Obama spent much more, we are where we are and it is Obama resisting spending cuts. These are the relevant facts.

    May 24, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Richard T.

    Yet more "Brinmanship" by the GOP. Do they not understand working with others? The apparently never retained what was learned in kindergarden.

    May 24, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Does anyone realize bills that were passed and signed by Bush weren't paid for even though he wipped out the surplus Bill Clinton had left on the table. No, I guess not because Republicans won't talk about that because it's the truth.

    May 24, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    "The Obama administration's request for a debt limit increase without spending cuts is dangerous for jobs and our economy, and the American people reject it," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Tuesday following the meeting.
    -----------------------
    The Republican's demand for a debt limit increase without spending cuts is dangerous for a our national security and the American people reject it. It would leave us unable to fund our military and intelligence communities, not to mention the increased costs we would suffer because of higher interest and penalites.

    The Sucker Punch you pulled on the American people in November 2010 has been laid bare for all to see by the GOTP.

    May 24, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. rob

    To Sniffit,

    The Republicans passed a budget in the House designed to cut the debt, save our entitlements, and spur the economy by re-vamping the tax codes. If this were to become law, it would create long term economic prosperity for the country while keeping our promises to the elderly and the poor. Its all right there in the bill for all to see. Just because you don't believe in these policies which have been tried and succeeded in the past does not mean you can pretend they have not been out there.

    May 24, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. TDK

    then why did they vote for the Ryan budget that iwoulc ncrease the debt by over a trillion dollars.

    May 24, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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