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Hot rhetoric on debt-limit vote

By Josh Richman
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at 6:45 pm in George Miller, Jerry McNerney, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House.

The House voted today against a bill that would’ve increased the nation’s debt limit; the vote was 97-318, with seven voting “present” and nine not voting.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the vote “shows the House is listening to the American people.”

“The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats have repeatedly asked for a debt limit hike without any spending cuts and budget reforms, and the American people simply will not tolerate it,” said Boehner, who timed the vote so it would come just before tomorrow’s Republican caucus meeting with President Obama. “Raising the debt limit without major spending cuts and meaningful reforms would hurt our economy and destroy more jobs, adding to our debt crisis. Today the House stood with the American people and said very clearly that this course of action is unacceptable. Republicans have passed a budget and outlined a pro-growth job creation plan that pays down our debt over time. We need to create a better environment for private-sector job growth by stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have, not by raising taxes and adding more debt onto the backs of our kids and grandkids.”

But not all who voted against this bill actually oppose raising the debt limit without the cuts and reforms the GOP is seeking.

Today’s legislation, HR 1954, contains a congressional finding “that the President’s budget proposal, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012, necessitates an increase in the statutory debt limit of $2,406,000,000,000.” That’s horsepucky, many Democrats say, blaming the nation’s huge debt instead on Bush-era warmaking and tax cuts.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez; and Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, voted against the bill.

“Our country’s debt is a serious issue that must be addressed. Unfortunately, the bill put forward by the Republican Majority today was just a political ploy. Republican House leaders wrote and offered this bill and then urged their own members to vote against it,” McNerney said. “Instead of wasting time on legislation that’s designed to fail, House Republicans should focus on reaching a bipartisan solution that includes reasonable measures to restrain future spending and start paying down the debt.”

Of course, for McNerney – a perennial GOP electoral target – it was damned if he did, damned if he didn’t.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay had issued a statement this morning saying “(i)f McNerney votes today to continue these policies free from any spending cuts, he’ll be requiring more tax dollars from the pockets of California families who all share the increasing government debt burden to foreign countries like China.”

After McNerney voted against the bill, Lindsay put out another release saying McNerney “and the Democrat leaders he blindly followed today are clearly trying to run for cover after realizing the political costs their party is taking for demanding more debt without any real spending cuts to show for it. Instead of dancing around the issue, McNerney and his fellow Democrats need to demonstrate a commitment to fiscal reform that his California constituents overwhelmingly demand.”

Here’s what Pelosi had to say about who’s dancing around what:

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  • http://www.ssdisability-lawyer.com politically frustrated

    This is a great example of pure political posturing. Teeing up a vote that is meant to fail in order to look “tough on debt.” The time could have been spent negotiating actual terms that will have to be ironed out in order for the debt ceiling to be raised. And we all know it will be.

  • http://jaybanks.ca Jay Banks

    If they really were serious about reducing the debt, they would try to find their budget cut solutions by reducing the military budget. Why does the US have to maintain so many foreign sites? It should let those other countries solve their own problems.

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