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National Debt

House Rightly Rejects "No Strings Attached" Debt Limit Increase

  • June 03, 2011

    This week, the House of Representatives voted on a "no strings attached" increase to our nation's statuary debt limit. The measure rightfully failed. The $2 trillion measure which would increase the debt limit to $16.7 trillion didn't garner a single Republican vote. In fact 318 members, including 82 Democrats voted "no". However, 97 Democrats voted in favor of the increase, while 7 voted "present". The fact that any member of our Congress would vote for this legislation is troubling, but even more so is that 114 House Democrats signed a letterauthored by House Democrat Chief Deputy Whip Peter Welch (D-VT) that expressed their support for a "no strings attached" increase to the debt ceiling. When the vote was called 5 Democrat signatories to this letter voted “present” and 29 voted “no” on the measure.

    Thankfully, House Republicans brought the measure to the floor to show that they were against any such status quo increase, as were a good number of Democrats. In a speech on the House floor, the bill's sponsor Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) said "Now, most members aren't happy when they bring a bill to the floor and it fails, but I consider defeating an unconditional increase to be a success, because it sends a clear and critical message that the Congress has finally recognized we must immediately begin to reign in America's affection for deficit spending."
    CapitolWatch couldn't agree more with Chairman Camp's statement. It's high time a majority of Congress begin to stand in the way of adding another cent to our nation's debt. This year we're projected to spend $1.5 trillion more than we can pay for and are financing 40 cents of every dollar this government spends. All of which is being financed by foreign nations - namely the Chinese. One House freshman has noted that this government requires a Balanced Budget Amendment, something CapitolWatch believes is wholly necessary. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) has sent a letter to his colleagues urging "at minimum, a balanced budget amendment" to be attached to a debt ceiling increase. We must go farther than that though. When House Republicans and House Democrats go to the White House today and tomorrow to speak with President Obama on this issue, we trust they will make that fact known, and demonstrate that the reckless spending party has finally ended in Washington.

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