Wednesday, June 1, 2011

John Boehner Gains Leverage by Holding Down the Debt Ceiling



The House on Tuesday soundly rejected a bill to increase the federal borrowing limit by $2.4 trillion—a symbolic vote that House GOP leaders said demonstrated that Congress will not increase the debt ceiling unless it is linked to a deficit-reduction plan.

The vote was 318-97. All Republicans who voted and 82 Democrats opposed the bill. Seven Democrats voted "present.''

Why would the GOP bring it to the floor knowing that they had more than enough votes to kill it? Simple: To make the Democrats choke on it, of course. The public is on the GOP’s side of this issue, unambiguously, and with plenty of independent support, so this was Boehner’s way of twisting a few center-left arms and building negotiating leverage for spending cuts with Obama.

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