The U.S. House of Representatives early Wednesday morning voted 221-209 on a nearly partisan basis to pass a $2.5 trillion increase to the federal debt limit.
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday sent the resolution to the lower chamber after passing it by a 50-49 margin. Alabama’s congressional delegation voted 8-1 on party lines against the debt ceiling increase.
By passing the measure, Congress will not take up the issue again until 2023.
Congressional Democrats contend that extending the federal government’s borrowing power ensures that the nation will not default on its debt obligations, while Republicans argue that raising the debt limit facilitates increased wasteful spending.
One of those Republicans, U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), asserted that the measure hands a “blank check” to Democratic leadership.
“I voted against the Democrats’ partisan $2.5 trillion debt ceiling increase because the last thing we need is to give Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden a blank check to continue their runaway spending,” advised Carl. “Raising the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion does nothing more than pave the way for Democrats to continue wasting money on big government programs and Green New Deal mandates. It’s time for Washington to get control of its spending problem and quit mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren by borrowing trillions more dollars that we cannot afford.”
U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) warned of the dire fiscal consequences which he suggested the nation could face if Congress fails to rein in deficit spending.
“It seems that the Democrats still can’t accept any limit on wasteful spending, even as we watch inflation inflict financial hardship on American families across the country,” stated Palmer. “The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also just published the true cost of the Democrats’ massive spending bill, and it would add over $3 trillion to our national debt. The U.S. debt is already 25 percent bigger than the entire economy, and the CBO projects that our debt-to-GDP will be over 200 percent by 2051. That means our debt will be twice as big as our entire economy.”
He added, “Such debt levels will ensure long-term inflation and possibly the loss of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. We must recognize the threat to America’s future that such debt levels pose and take action to reduce our debt. We can start by eliminating wasteful spending, eliminating obsolete and unnecessary federal programs, reopening federal lands for oil and natural gas production and increase our exports, eliminating improper payments, and simplifying the federal tax code.”
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) compared the nation’s debt crisis to an individual accumulating unsustainable credit card debt.
“Democrats raising the debt ceiling while continuing to spend in record amounts is like someone taking out a new credit card because all of their others are maxed out,” stated Aderholt. “Instead of increasing our borrowing, we need to decrease our spending.”
Calling the measure a “reckless plan,” U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) indicated that the debt ceiling increase would assist Democrats’ efforts to fund their ambitious spending agenda.
“I voted against Nancy Pelosi’s reckless plan to raise the debt ceiling — which would allow Democrats to further implement their reckless socialist spending spree,” asserted Rogers. “Alabama families are being faced with increased costs of living due to inflation and this dangerous spending will only make matters worse.”
Alabama’s lone congressional Democrat, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), hailed the measure’s passage and advised that the federal government’s debt situation could be attributed to both parties.
“Members of Congress should never play politics with the full faith and credit of the United States,” proclaimed Sewell. “We have an obligation to pay our bills that have piled up under previous administrations including President Trump’s. Addressing the debt limit is the responsible thing to do, and I was proud to join my Democratic colleagues to protect families from catastrophe and pay our bills.”
The legislation now heads to the desk of President Joe Biden where it is expected to be signed into law.
UPDATE 10:52 a.m.:
In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News, U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and suggested that the debt ceiling increase would serve to further place the United States’ economic security in jeopardy.
“Speaker Pelosi and her Big Government Democrats have made clear that there is no limit to how much of your money they are willing to spend to grow their own power,” stated Moore. “By asking taxpayers to write a blank check to the Biden administration to pay for its wildly expensive socialist spending spree, Democrats are saddling future generations of Americans in deeper debt — mostly to China, our most dangerous geopolitical foe. Congress should be laser focused on protecting the safety and economic security of Americans, not squandering the viability of our nation for short-term political gain.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL