House passes debt-limit increase: Tell us your thoughts

by NW Spotlight

Did House Republicans strike a hard bargain considering Democrats control the Senate and the White House, or did they cave in the Federal budget game of chicken?

The Hill is reporting that the US House has “approved bipartisan legislation to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and reduce long-term budget deficits, endorsing the agreement President Obama struck with Republican leaders.”

The vote was 269-161 in the Republican-controlled House.

174 Republicans voted YES
66 Republicans voted NO
95 Democrats voted YES
95 Democrats voted NO

Republican leaders in the House see the debt-limit bill as imperfect, but one that begins to change the culture of spending in Washington. The bill enables increasing the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion through 2012, while reducing the deficit by $1 trillion over ten years.

Nancy Pelosi, who was not happy with the bill but voted for it, said that Democrats succeeded in preventing benefit cuts to the core safety-net programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

House liberals feel the bill is a surrender to Republicans – one House liberal compared the bill to a “sugar-coated satan sandwich.”

House conservatives don’t like a provision that would result in sweeping defense cuts if the committee’s recommendations are not approved by the end of the year, and even though the package would call for a vote on a balanced-budget amendment, the debt ceiling could be increased even if the balanced-budget amendment is not approved.

The debt-ceiling compromise is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate tomorrow at Noon.