What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Protecting Rights of Congressional Minorities : S 2578. Increasing the Debt Limit/Vote to Combine Unpopular Rule on Debt Limit Increase with Rule on Defense Authorization to Insure Passage of Debt Limit Increase. (2002 house Roll Call 275)
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S 2578. Increasing the Debt Limit/Vote to Combine Unpopular Rule on Debt Limit Increase with Rule on Defense Authorization to Insure Passage of Debt Limit Increase.
house Roll Call 275     Jun 27, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The president's $1.35 trillion tax cut in 2001 had contributed to a large and growing budget deficit. As the debt increased, Congress needed to raise the debt limit or risk placing the government in default on its loans. Republicans wrote a bill that increased the debt limit by $450 billion, but Progressives and Democrats in general wanted to have a larger debate about budget priorities before they agreed to any long-term increase in the limit. Republicans used a parliamentary maneuver to circumvent this debate. In the House, most bills are proposed with a "rule": a set of instructions for debate on the measure that must be passed before the bill itself can be considered. Rather than propose a rule for the debt limit bill by itself, Republicans proposed amending the rule for an unrelated bill. Because the unrelated bill-authorizing defense programs-was popular, the rule for that bill was likely to pass even with the rule for the debt limit attached. Progressives voted against amending the defense authorization rule with the debt limit rule because they did not want to make it easier for Republicans to pass the latter by coupling it with the former. They voted "no" but the amendment passed anyway, 219-211.

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