House Republicans to hold vote on debt limit increase
May 24th, 2011
03:04 PM ET
11 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. thomas

    No Crying or Tears Please !

    May 24, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Four and The Door

    Raising the debt limit without cost reductions attached would make a mockery of the whole idea of a debt limit. As difficult as it is for Democrats to reduce spending, the time is now. It is time to be responsible now.

    May 24, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  3. The Other Dale

    So a phoney-baloney bill written by someone who doesn't want it to pass and which will be trumped up to look so bad that it can't possibly pass the House. Yeah, that'll be convincing.

    May 24, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    The GOTP does not want "spending cuts". They want social engineering. They oppose federal subsidies to corn farmers to stabilize food prices, but yet the support federal subsidies to big oil that cost ten times more. They would rather support big oil than programs like WIC that help babies and their poor families. They would rather cut assistance to teachers, policemen and firefighters than cut subsidies to big oil.

    Why? Because the Republican Party is controlled by Roger Ailes of the Fox News Channel; and people like farmers, babies, and public unions simply do not advertise on FNC.

    May 24, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. @OmegaRaiel

    I hope the Democrats make no deal with Republicans on this. This is something that must be done so no deal is necessary. If Republicans want to murder the country, let them try. Backlash will come.

    May 24, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. james Miller

    My GOP has been taken hostage by right wing nuts and big money (corporate) interests. I can sadly no longer call myself a Republican.

    May 24, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. tulsa, ok

    so they are just doing this for show then, right?
    Isn't that wasting valuable time? Is this really "efficient government"?
    How about a JOBS BILL?

    May 24, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. jay1975

    Heck yeah, no new debt to pay off the old debt. It is an insane cycle we have found ourselves in and if you suggest a new path, you are demonized for going against the status quo that candidate Obama railed against, but President Obama embraced.

    May 24, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. once upon a horse

    he does this as the Tea Party GLARES at him and Eric Cantor licks his chops thinking he might be next in line for the job.

    May 24, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. imjustaguy

    Here is an idea that should make everyone happy:

    Pass legislation to increase the debt ceiling. This needs to be done to keep our country from following in the footsteps of Greece & co. Now, why don't we include a stipulation that will lower the debt ceiling back down to what it is now in ONE YEAR unless prior to that point legislation has been passed to cut spending by a certain amount?

    This way we can keep paying our bills, but will still be forced to address the issue of spending cuts. Just my 2 cents.

    May 24, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  11. al in memphis

    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.

    No it shows that you got a bunch of politicans that are more aware of getting reelected based on what they opposed versus finding a solution to the problem.
    If this is the protocol, then every bill will have a tax break for companies attached to it so some politicans can say he got what he wanted for their special interest. If you want spending cuts, cut the amount of money that is paid to military contractors. Keep the enlisted employed and get rid of some money your paying to corporations.

    May 24, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Boytjie

    So we have both the House and the Senate passing bills just for the sake of playing politics, what happened to Jobs, Jobs, Jobs? Then again, it is difficult to negotiate when one side is unwilling to compromise an just about anything and only know how to say No, No, No (or Drill Baby, Drill or No New taxes)

    May 24, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Anthony

    Republicans, just point out what you want to cut from the budget. The House writes the budget, not the president. How is the Ryan Medicare plan working out for you?

    May 24, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Bill from GA

    Extend the Debt Ceiling. Take care of spending in budgets.

    Deficits come from budgets, passed by Congress, spending more than the revenue coming in. Not the debt ceiling. Budgets must get out of Congress to become law.

    I'm sure our Congress knows this, but they lie about how increasing the debt ceiling is dangerous. NOT increasing the debt ceiling, and not meeting our current obligations (the result of decades of overspending), is dangerous.

    May 24, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Henry

    Cry me a river, Mr. Boehner. I love this posturing. He and his cronies care nothing about "the American People". Jeesh I hate that term.

    Get to work for US you supposed Catholic.

    May 24, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Sasha

    Translation: I am such a weak majority leader that I cannot prevent my caucus in the House from suicide-bombing the American economy, despite the fact I know what a catastrophe that would be.

    Assuming the worst happens and America "defaults", at least Boehner has made it obvious that the Republicans are the ones at fault.

    May 24, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Publius Novus

    Another brilliant legislative maneuver by Boehner. I can't decide whether a vote on raising the debt ceiling is more brilliant than the vote on the Ryan "budget" or vice-versa. Go for it Boehner, make it crystal clear to the American people that the GOP will let the economy go down rather than compromise its newly discovered ideology on debt!

    There is an old saying about it being better to remain silent and appearing foolish than to speak and remove all doubt. Soon, there will be the Boehner corrallary.

    May 24, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Paul

    Clearly, Republicans are the party of fiscal irresponsibility. Failure to raise the debt limit will result in economic catastrophe.

    May 24, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. AZ DEM

    Yeah ok GOP lets damage the full faith and credit of the US and see where that gets us. No one will blame the president for not being able to convince the Republicans to see the light when have they ever joined his cause even when he is absolutely correct? This one will come down to the wire and a deal will be made. Just like everything else Obama won't let them jeopardize the nation and his re-election.

    May 24, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. 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. Boehner continues to support only the rich and his proposals show it.

    May 24, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Robert J

    This appears to be the Republican / Boehner rationale – If the Presidents bill can't pass the house (full of Republicans) then the the Presidents bill is no good and the Republican bill is the only way! Whata waste of public money and time – this is childrens playing not adults governibg and leading our country – Throw all the republican idiots out and get the country moving in the right direction!

    May 24, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. MICK

    This bill needs to Cut spending by 1.6 trillion dollars. I can't see the TEA PARTY supporting anything less than total victory
    over the commie-liberals. We all know that this country will be bankrupt without deep,cuts in social spending.

    We need to end ALL government give-a-ways. Including Social Security. Why should I be taxed to support
    support people that didn't plan for there retirement.

    May 24, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. juliei4

    Yes! Please get eveyone on record and then when you vote it down you can lay out what cuts you are blackmailing all of us for – taking a chance of an economic relapse, sending eveyone's IRA into the dumpster again just like you all did during the Bush administration.

    May 24, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Wil in the VA.

    The president needs to come and exspose the republicans both house and senate for the corporate puppets that they are. They have been voting NO on every thing since Obama was elected President these people dont have any bodies interest at heart except their own bank account. Why are we trusting the very people who got us into this mess if you are honest with your self you know it's true if we are as broke as Boehnr,Cantor,Mcconnell and the rest say you can't give money back to people ( TAX CUTS)

    May 24, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |

    Your fools Republicans if you do this. aLL OBAMA WILL DO IS QUICKLY SPEND IT ON HIS PEOPLE. AND LEAVE THE ONES WHO Really need help up the creek.

    May 24, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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