House Debt Limit Vote: Republicans Vote Against Raising Debt Ceiling
WASHINGTON (AP/The Huffington Post) — House Republicans voted Tuesday evening to reject their own proposed $2.4 trillion increase in the nation’s debt limit, a political gambit designed to reinforce a demand for spending cuts to accompany any increase in government borrowing. The vote was 318-97.
The House legislation would have allow government borrowing to reach $15.8 trillion, but it did not include any steps that GOP leaders — who arranged the vote — have demanded to restrain future spending.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says Congress must raise the debt limit by Aug. 2 or the government will default, and he has warned the resulting turmoil could plunge the nation into another recession or even an economic depression.
Republicans, who are scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on Wednesday, signaled in advance that the debt limit vote did not portend a final refusal to grant an increase.
The roll call was set for late in the day to avoid rattling the financial markets, while allowing rank-and-file lawmakers to vote against unpopular legislation the leadership has said eventually must pass.