Top House Democrat urges colleagues to vote against GOP debt limit measure
May 31st, 2011
06:22 PM ET
11 years ago

Top House Democrat urges colleagues to vote against GOP debt limit measure

Washington (CNN)–Advising fellow House Democrats not to take the political bait, the number two House Democrat, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, is urging his colleagues to join with House Republicans and oppose a bill to raise the debt limit when the House votes Tuesday night.

House Republican leaders scheduled a vote to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion. The measure, which doesn’t include any spending reductions or budget reforms, is expected to fail in the GOP-controlled House. Republican aides say they don’t anticipate any Republicans will vote for it. But GOP leaders want to show that a bill without significant spending cuts cannot pass in the House and use the vote to demonstrate that Democrats are not serious about cutting spending. While many Democrats agree Congress needs to reduce the deficit by cutting spending, they don't favor tying the issue to the debt vote.

House Speaker John Boehner has repeatedly insisted that any vote to give the Treasury department additional borrowing authority must be linked to major cuts in federal spending greater than the amount the debt limit is raised.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, who has previously said he supports a so-called “clean” extension of the debt limit, told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday that supporting the bill would open Democrats up to partisan attacks.

"I don't intend to advise my members to subject themselves to a political 30 second ad and attack," Hoyer said, adding, "my advice to them is not to play this political charade."

While Hoyer criticized Republicans for moving ahead with the vote, he admitted that members of both political parties, including him, have used previous votes to increase the debt limit to make political points.

"That's not adult behavior and we've all pursued it and we ought to get beyond it," Hoyer said.

Filed under: Debt • House Democrats • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. hank

    It is becoming clear that GOP's new philosophy is anarchy. They intend to destroy the government.

    May 31, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Graham

    Vote not to raise the limit and watch the markets go berserk and south. If the US defaults on bond/loan repayments, we're just another banana republic to investors. Those who want to play this game of financial chicken are both immature and insane.

    May 31, 2011 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    So do the Democratic posters on this board feel better about their Representatives if they vote against raising the debt limit like the Republicans? Are they doing what you sent them to Washington for?

    May 31, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    The Congressional Finding in the Bill is a political pill and makes it not a "clean" bill. To quote the bill's congressional finding:

    "The Congress finds that the President's budget proposal, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012, necessitates an increase in the statutory debt limit of $2,406,000,000,000."

    This is a blatantly untrue statement. First, Obama's budget proposal wasn't passed and hasn't become law, so it CAN'T necessitate the debt limit being raised. Second, the reason the debt limit needs to be raised is because of previous debts, the interest accruing thereon, previous spending, previous deficits, previous budgets, etc. It has nothing to do with future spending until that spending occurs or borrowing occurs to fund it. Third, Ryan's plan "requires" the debt limit to be raised in the same sense Obama's or ANYONE's would...we can't pass a budget that WOULDN'T require the debt ceiling to be raised. This finding in the bill is the PROOF that this is just a game to the GOP. Any Dems that vote "no" will be contributig to the GOP's claims that they obtained "bipartisan support for doing the responsible thing and not raising the debt ceiling unless and until we can cut grandma's Medicare and save those oil subsidies." Any Dem who voted yes would be admitting, based on that congressional finding, that "Obama's budget is the only reason we have to raise the debt ceiling...blah blah blah spending spree with the nation's credit card."

    The Dems NEED to either simply vote "present' or skipp th evote completely out of protest for the GOP's nonsense. This is being introduced in a procedure that does not allow any proposed amendments or any real debate: you can bet your bippy the GOP would protest very loudly about that. Get on the freekin ball're an idiot if you vote "no" and give the GOP what they want. The whole thing is designed to be a "have you stopped beating your wife?" catch-22. Don't play on the battleground of their choosing.

    May 31, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  5. toocy

    Stop worrying about partisan attacks and vote to raise the debt ceiling. The people who believe the attack ads will NEVER vote for a dem anyway so why are you pandering to them? I would rather defend my record for voting for something I believe in than voting against what I know is right because I'm afraid of attack ads. Stop playing political games and get to work.

    May 31, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Patrick from Minnesota

    OK , we are officially screwed since no one is willing to raise taxes on the so called "job producers." So Republicans, where are our jobs?

    May 31, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Jack Kennedy

    liberals just got to keep spending the taxpayers money ............. wonder when we will finally go BK and stop the obama/reid/liberals spending of American's grandchildren's money

    May 31, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. fernace

    Why can't these elected officials agree? A budget is not that hard to balance whether it's $500 or $2.4 trillion. It's all math & common sense! What is at stake here are the programs people have invested their tax $ in. They have already been cut by the states, now the Repubs want to trunce them or do away with them altogether. They forget that as average Americans, we are the majority! We are also "the people" & they work for us. Calling programs such as Social Security, MediCare, & Education "Entitlement Programs" in a derogatory fashion, is an insult to the middle class worker & tax payer. Giving subsidies to the "Bigs" is no longer in the interest of the budget of this nation. Pick whatever fights you want, but keep your hands off our Necessities!!

    May 31, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    Blow it out your Harry Reid Steny

    May 31, 2011 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. Former Republican, now an Independent

    The republicans need to work with the democrats to lower the debt in the proper ways, not play these political games and stage shows to insult the intelligence of the American public. Most people know that to reduce the debt without some increase in revenues will hurt 95% of Americans and not affect the wealthiest 5% who own them.

    May 31, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Larry L

    How about the tax breaks for oil companies and the wealthiest Americans? Are those issues on the table or does the Republican expect the pain to be directed only toward the poor and the elderly?

    May 31, 2011 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  12. Ex-Republican

    Republicans you are playing games with our livelihood and you want to kill Grandma. Where are the jobs Republicans? 2012 can't come soon enough for me and my friends that voted Republican in 2010. We have decided to vote for President Obama and the Democrats. At least Democrats care about the American people. All Republicans want to do is start wars. We were fooled in 2010, but won't be fooled again by Republicans.

    May 31, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  13. Squigman

    The republican party will not be satisfied, until there's a great depression like the one experienced in the 1930's.

    May 31, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |