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PA Delegation Opposes Debt Ceiling Increase 15-3

By: Jared Edgerton, Contributing Writer

The House of Representatives overwhelming defeated a symbolic measure last night that would have raised the debt ceiling without offering any spending reductions by 318 votes to 97 votes.

The vote was intended to assert Congressional Republicans’ position that raising the debt ceiling would have to be accompanied by severe spending cuts.

The Pennsylvanian Congressional Delegation comprised three of the yes votes and fifteen of the no votes, with Pennsylvanian Democratic Congressmen Justin Altimire, Mike Critz and Tim Holden joining their Republican colleagues to vote down the legislation and Representatives Bob Brady, Chaka Fattah and Mike Doyle dissenting (Representative Shwartz did not vote due to the recent death of her father).

Voting ‘no’ on the measure wasn’t enough to shield some Democrats from GOP attacks. The National Republican Congressional Committee specifically targeted Representative Critz.

In a press release the NRCC accused Critz of trying to “hide his leading role” to push for a higher debt ceiling, adding that Pennsylvanians would “see through his ploy” and recognize that Critz “is one of the most prominent Democrats pushing for more borrowing from foreign countries.”

The press release also attacked Democrats more broadly alleging that President Obama was the “king of debt.”

Democratic Representative Altimire responded to the criticism in a press release before the vote justifying his opposition to the bill, stating that although the debt ceiling has to be raised the proposed “legislation fails to make the real and immediate spending cuts needed to get our fiscal house in order.”

After the vote several Congressmen explained their position via twitter. Representative Marino said he was obligated to vote no tweeting “taxpayers, are the bankers” and you “said no to a poor-risk President [Obama].”

Even Senator Rick Santorum weighed in on the vote applauding House Conservatives for making an “absolutely right” choice, emphasizing that any raise of the debt ceiling has to get “our exploding debt under control, namely our entitlement programs.”

Senator Bob Casey also articulated his position early yesterday in a joint letter, with California Senator Barbara Boxer, to Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner. In the letter Senator Casey stressed the need to get the “debt under control,” but cautioned against “playing politics.” Senator Casey went on to propose that if the government defaults on their loans Congressmen and the President should not get paid.

On May 16th the United States hit the debt ceiling but Secretary Geinther has diverted investments from federal retirement funds allowing the United States to continue borrowing until August 2nd setting up a final showdown.

4 Responses

  1. I encourage everyone to support a recall of all members of the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans. It is time to start over and put some thoughtful, intelligent thinkers in Washington.

  2. Are we using debt to finance operations and to service our current debt??? Does anyone else see how crazy this is? Spending needs to be cut now!! We may also still need to raise taxes in the short term to get the debt down.

  3. To the PA Delegation and all members of Congress:

    Do NOT vote to raise the debt ceiling unless there is already a bill passed and signed to reduce spending. The government can reorganize its debt to avoid default, which wouldn’t happen right away anyway.

    All this panic just tells me the people don’t understand exactly what is happening in this country. We’ve become a body of lazy do-nothings with our hands out wanting to be taken care of. Grow up and start doing for yourselves – government isn’t the answer. It’s the problem and always has been. Only with a self-sufficient populace can the government be reduced to a manageable body once again. Then again, maybe it’s already too late. Too many decades of government as ‘safety net’ makes for the sheeple mentality.

  4. I can’t believe you voted against the debt ceiling raise. Does anyone understand the big picture? The budget can be cut later. I agree with Senator Casey. If the government defaults on their loans Congressmen should not get paid. Any grownups in the room!?

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