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House approves $290 billion increase in debt limit

By Perry Bacon Jr.
The House on Wednesday voted to increase the federal debt limit by $290 billion even as lawmakers from both parties expressed worry about a growing debt that is now more than $12 trillion.

The provision would allow the federal debt to rise to $12.4 trillion through government borrowing, an increase from the current limit of $12.1 trillion, which the government is expected to reach by New Year's Eve. The measure is likely to approved by the Senate before the end of the month.

The vote passed by a narrow 218 to 214 margin as 39 Democrats, many of whom could face tough re-election contests next year, opposed the provision, along with all 175 Republicans who voted.

"Let's get really serious about cutting spending, and the way we start is by saying no to increasing the debt limit," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio.)

Congressional Democrats noted that many Republicans had voted for debt limit increases when George W. Bush was president and said increasing the limit was necessary to keep the government going.

The move came after Democratic leaders this week discarded a plan that would have increased the debt limit by more than $1.8 trillion, bowing to the concerns of conservative Democrats who want to see the party do more to reduce spending and cut the debt before approving such an increase.

The vote reflected the complicated politics of the deficit for Democrats. House leaders had abandoned a large debt increase in the face of conservative Democrats who had been demanding in exchange for their votes on the debt limit a new pay-as-you-go law that would bar Congress from increasing spending or cutting taxes unless the cost is offset by spending cuts or revenue increases elsewhere.

Fiscal conservatives in the Senate, meanwhile, led by Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), had been seeking the creation of a bipartisan commission with authority to force spending cuts or tax increases through Congress. At the same time, liberal Democrats are strongly pushing for Congress to pass additional programs to help stimulate the economy and create jobs, even if they increase the deficit in the short term.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 16, 2009; 5:38 PM ET
Categories:  44 Native , 44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: White House: first stimulus working, but jobs package is needed

Comments

You know why they voted democrats to power
So they could raise the debt ceiling to
500 trillion dollars and give the world some coke, so we could all live happily after!

Posted by: boski66 | December 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

All Democrats must be voted out in the mid-term elections in 2010!!! These people have no shame.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | December 16, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

2010 might be too late.
The insane people, the Democrats, are running amok.
Something has to be done soon.
Start locking these libtards up!!!
Is Paul Rever calling?

Posted by: vickie1 | December 16, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

spend, spend, spend, spend...............until we are broke.

Posted by: tonyjm | December 16, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Sheer insanity.

Posted by: Lilycat11 | December 16, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The way the Democrats are spending on fruitcakes and other pork projects, they'll be back to the tax payer trough before they can say "Bend over again America" on Valentine's Day.

Thank God Novemeber 2010 is only 11 months away.

Posted by: Patriot12 | December 16, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations. . . We are continuing this policy in bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy, Allah willing. And nothing is too great for Allah."

--Ossama bin Laden, Nov. 1, 2004

Posted by: motorfriend | December 16, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

There is no statute of limitations on Debt!!!

Posted by: Wildthing1 | December 16, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

There's only one way to stop Obama and the Democrats from all this crazy spending and that's by execising our constitutional voting rights in 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: BruceMcDougall | December 16, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Every dollar the government spends has been earned by someone else. What happened to Obama's promise not to sign any legislation that will increase the debt? He lied.

Posted by: ahashburn | December 16, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

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