By a vote of 285-144, the House of Representatives passed HR 325, by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), to increase the debt ceiling by an unlimited amount until May 19, 2013, with no cuts in spending.
A previous issue of this newsletter reported that the Fiscal Cliff Deal that was recently passed also contained no cuts in federal spending. In fact, the Heritage Foundation calculated that it added $47 Billion in spending.
The last issue of this newsletter urged no increase in the debt limit UNLESS Congress also passes, and sends to the states for ratification, a constitutional amendment to prohibit deficit spending by the federal government OR Congress makes immediate, massive cuts in federal spending.
Instead, the Associated Press (AP) reported that House Republicans "backed away from their previous demand that any increase in the government's borrowing cap be paired with an equivalent level of spending cuts."
House Republicans voted for the bill 199 to 33, while House Democrats voted against it 111 to 86.
Speaker John Boehner thinks he achieved a victory by including a provision in it requiring the Senate to pass a budget or have their pay withheld until they do or until the end of the 113th Congress. Although the House has passed a budget every year under both Republican and Democratic control, the Senate has not passed a budget since 2009.
"With the passage of this bill today, it's pretty clear that we're sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate that it's time to do your job. The principal I think is pretty simple: no budget, no pay."
While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) voted against the bill, so did such conservatives as Tom McClintock (R-CA) (pictured) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN).
The Hill reported that McClintock said it was a "terrible precedent" to abolish the debt limit for nearly four months. "This bill accommodates spending at ruinous levels far beyond the limits set by the House budget," he said.
And in a statement, Bachmann said:
Giving the President four months of unlimited borrowing authority without a cap on spending is something I cannot support. Adding to the debt burden of future generations will only exacerbate the problem…We are at a point where we do not have a choice: for the sake of our children and grandchildren we have to stop spending more money than we take in.
It appears that the Senate will quickly pass HR 325 and the President will immediately sign it.
The AP stated, "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the chamber would immediately move to advance the legislation to the White House, which has announced Obama would sign it."
And the New York Times verified that Reid "thanked Speaker John A. Boehner for reversing course and said he would take up and pass the House bill without changes as soon as next week, possibly by unanimous consent."
As for the supposed coup the House GOP achieved in forcing Senate Democrats to pass a budget, according the Washington Post, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), seemed ready to do that:
Democrats are eager to contrast our pro-growth, pro-middle class budget priorities with the House Republicans' Ryan budget…We know that when our priorities are laid out next to Republicans', the public stands with us.
The Treasury Department's Bureau of Public Debt listed the national debt, as of January 22, 2013, as exactly $16,432,571,159,411.57
That's 16 Trillion, 432 Billion, 571 million, 159 Thousand, 411 Dollars, and 57 Cents.
The Washington Post also reported:
In an analysis released Wednesday, the Bipartisan Policy Center predicted that the Treasury would run up about $450 Billion in additional debt during that period and that the date of potential default would be postponed at least until the end of July.
The last issue of this newsletter clearly established that, despite repeated claims by the news media, whether the debt limit is increased or not, there would be no default—unless the Obama Administration chooses that option.
Assuming HR 325 is enacted into law, it is unknown what Boehner's plan is for further increases in the debt ceiling after May 19.
It does not appear likely that future debt increases will be tied to either the passage of a constitutional amendment to prohibit deficit spending by the federal government or to immediate, massive cuts in federal spending.
The previous What's Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: There should be NO increase in the debt ceiling UNLESS…
The previous What's Happening with Seniors Benefits: Media distorts Obama on seniors issues
Previous issues of both newsletters.
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