House approves resolution opposing Obama’s debt-limit hike

January 19, 2012

By Pete Kasperowicz – The Hill

The House on Wednesday evening approved a resolution disapproving of President Obama’s request to increase the federal debt ceiling by another $1.2 trillion, sending it to a Senate that is expected to reject it.

The House approved the resolution in a 239-176 vote in which just one Republican voted against it, and six Democrats voted for it. But the vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed for passage if Obama were to veto the resolution.


House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (Calif.) was the only Republican to vote against the resolution. Two Republicans voted “present”: Reps. Jeff Landry (La.) and Joe Walsh (Ill.).


Democrats voting ‘yes’ were Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (NC).

Democrats spent the day arguing that the resolution was a waste of time. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) called it a “political stunt,” and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the vote was designed to give Republicans the appearance that they oppose the debt-ceiling increase, even though the increase was all but assured in legislation that Congress approved last year.

“This is a game that will say, ‘see, I voted against debt,’ ” Hoyer said.

Under last year’s Budget Control Act, Obama has the authority to call for an increase in the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. This increase can only be avoided if both the House and Senate pass resolutions of disapproval, although the Senate is not expected to follow suit.

Republicans used the resolution as an opportunity to again stress the importance of cutting spending and to argue that Congress has yet to take this issue seriously. Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul returned from the campaign to warn of global consequences if Congress fails to curb spending.

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