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In the Washington Post, Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane report that with strong public support and White House opposition, the “House rejects proposal to raise debt ceiling” by voting down a measure that would raise the national debt ceiling by 16.8% from the current $14.3 trillion to a whopping $16.7 trillion.
With an August deadline looming, the House overwhelmingly refused Tuesday to raise the legal limit on government borrowing, setting the stage for a long, sweaty summer of haggling over the shape of the largest debt-reduction package in at least two decades.
Not a single GOP lawmaker voted for the measure to raise the limit on the national debt from $14.3 trillion to $16.7 trillion — a sum sufficient to cover the government’s bills through the end of next year. Republican leaders said their troops would reject any increase without a plan to sharply curtail spending and, thus, future borrowing.
“Tonight’s vote illustrates that there is no support in the People’s House for a debt limit increase without real spending cuts and binding budget process reforms,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement, adding: “The families and business owners throughout the country want Washington to begin to live within its means and stop maxing out the credit card.”
Polls show that a higher debt limit is extremely unpopular with a large majority of voters, which has left Democrats leery of calling for an increase. On Tuesday, as the House voted 318 to 97 against raising the limit, nearly half of the chamber’s Democrats sided with the Republicans. In doing so, they ignored a long-standing request from the Obama administration to boost the limit before plunging into a complex and politically difficult battle over the size of the federal budget. . . .