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House Republicans hope the symbolic no vote will send a loud-and-clear message to Obama: No spending cuts, no deal.

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GOP Defeats Its Own Debt-Limit Hike on Principle

House Republicans hope the symbolic no vote will send a loud-and-clear message to Obama: No spending cuts, no deal.

House Republicans on Tuesday set themselves up for failure, on purpose, to send a message to the Obama administration that they will not increase the nation’s debt ceiling without spending cuts.

The Republican bill to raise the debt limit $2.4 trillion above the current level of $14.3 trillion failed by a vote of 318 to 97, with all Republicans voting against it, including the measure’s Republican author, Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan.  The measure required two thirds majority to pass.

“A vote based on legislation I’ve introduced will and must fail,” Camp said.  “Most members aren’t happy when they bring a bill up [that fails], but I consider defeating an unconditional increase to be a success.”

“A no vote today is a vote to put us on the path to what the market and the American people are demanding,” Camp said.

Added Rep. Steve Scalise (R.-La.), “No more blank checks.  No more unbridled spending.”

“The wild spending spree the President has been on for the last couple of years has come to an end,” Scalise said.

Democrats called the vote a “political charade,” however 82 voted with them to defeat the debt increase.

Democrats also said it’s not President Obama’s fault the nation is trillions of dollars in debt, it’s the fault of former President George W. Bush.

“Democrats know how to clean up the debt, they have had to do it before,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Where was everybody when President Bush gave tax breaks to the wealthy, which did not create jobs?” Pelosi asked.  “More jobs were created in the private sector in two years of Obama than in eight years of Bush.”

Camp disputed her numbers and said that the debt under Obama already exceeds Bush’s wartime debt. “The debt under this President is going up at twice the rate it did under Bush,” Camp said.  “It is important that we send a clear signal there will not be an unconditional debt increase.”

Congress has until Aug. 2 to act before hitting the default deadline.  On Wednesday, the entire Republican caucus will meet with Obama to discuss the debt ceiling.  Democrats are expected to meet with Obama on Thursday.

Rep. Sander Levin (D.-Mich.) said Congress needs to find a “serious solution, not a ploy that risks another global financial crisis.”

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D.-Calif.) said Republicans are “playing Russian roulette with a recovering economy.”

But Rep. Kevin Brady (R.-Tex.) said, “The Republicans in Congress are sending a statement today that America will get its house in order.”

“We are not going to guarantee the President an unconditional increase in how much the President can borrow,” Brady said.
“In effect,” he declared, “we are cutting up the credit cards.”

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Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Eventsâ?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audreyâ??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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