House rejects debt limit increase
House Republicans staged a symbolic vote to reject an “unconditional” debt limit increase, escalating the already tenuous bipartisan negotiations to address the national debt.
If Congress does not lift the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, the United States will default on its loans, potentially triggering a global economic catastrophe worse than the Great Depression.
Taking the threat seriously, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan) introduced H.R. 1954 “to implement the President’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt” and then promptly asked his colleagues to vote against the bill. The move was an thinly veiled attempt to intimidate Democrats into accepting Republican demands for drastic budget cuts.
“This vote – a vote based on legislation I’ve introduced – will and must fail,” said Camp. “Today we’re making clear that Republicans will not accept an increase in our nation’s debt limit without substantial spending cuts and real budgetary reforms.”
As expected, H.R. 1954 failed by a vote of 97 – 318.
Rep. Sander Levin (D-Michigan) attacked the GOP’s reckless political tactics.
“Bringing up this bill in this fashion is a ploys so egregious, the Republicans have spent the last week pleading with Wall Street not to take it seriously and risk our economic recovery,” said Levin, the ranking member of the Ways & Means Committee. “Our nation’s debt is indeed a problem that requires serious solutions not ploys that risk another global financial crisis.”
- Roll call vote 379 on H.R. 1954
- Bill summary and status on H.R. 1954 “To implement the President’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt”
- CSPAN.org: House fails to raise debt ceiling
- Reuters.com: Debt-limit hike fails in House in symbolic vote
- Rep. Dave Camp’s (R-Michigan) website
- Rep. Sander Levin’s (D-Michigan) website
- Rep. Dave Camp’s statement on H.R. 1954 to increase the debt limit
- Rep. Sander Levin’s statement on H.R. 1954 to increase the debt limit
- Speaker Boehner holds debt ceiling hostage