In Puppet Move Full Of Sound And Fury, Congress Denies Debt Ceiling Hike
A short time ago, the House of Representatives rejected (by 239-176 though not enough to avoid Obama's veto) the $1.3tn increase in the federal debt limit. As Reuters notes, this vote seems like 'a largely symbolic vote aimed at staking out election-year positions on government spending' as we know by now that Timmy G will underfund yet another pension plan (on the promise to transfer-pay it all back very soon) if it ever came to that. The Hill also adds Democratic comments that this was clearly 'a political stunt' as the House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer says "This is a game that will say, see, I voted against debt." Where the sound-and-fury is laughable of course is that both the House and Senate need to 'disapprove' of the debt ceiling hike that is already 'pre-approved' in last year's Budget Control Act (and the Senate is widely expected not to disapprove). As politician after politician sought media-time, Ron Paul echoed his sensibilities (though not really helpful in this situation) that "we're in denial", and "you can't solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt."
The House on Wednesday evening approved a resolution disapproving of President Obama's request to increase the 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.
Democrats spend 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
..."This is a game that will say, see, I voted against debt,".
Under last year's Budget Control Act (BCA), 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.
... Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas) returned from the campaign to warn of global consequences if Congress fails to curb spending.
"I believe we're in denial here in the Congress," Paul said on the House floor. "If we had the vaguest idea of how serious this crisis is financially, not only for us but for the world, we'd cut spending, because you can't solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt."
"We have in effect given the president of the United States the ability to raise the debt ceiling without… having any control whatsoever, and that’s just wrong," Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) said.
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