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 on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Increase the Debt Limit and Thereby Saddle Future Generations With Even Higher Debt Payments. (2002 house Roll Call 276)
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S 2578. Increasing the Debt Limit-Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill to Increase the Debt Limit and Thereby Saddle Future Generations With Even Higher Debt Payments.
house Roll Call 276     Jun 27, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax cut from 2001 had arguably contributed to rapidly growing deficits in the federal budget. The debt had increased as a result, and threatened to surpass the established debt limit. If the government was to avoid entering default, this debt limit had to be increased. Progressives and Democrats in general supported increasing the limit, but only after addressing the tax cut as a cause of the budget problems. Republican deficit hawks were also wary of increasing the debt limit, so the Republican leadership knew that a vote on raising the limit was going to be difficult to win. House procedures complicated matters further. In the House, the rules for debate on a bill-commonly referred to as the bill's "rule"-must usually be passed before the bill can be considered. Opponents of a bill will typically oppose the rule as a way to kill the bill itself. Fearing rebellion on the rule for the debt limit bill, the Republican leadership turned to an unusual technique: they attached the debt limit rule to the rule for a popular bill that authorized military programs. Though many Progressives favored the military bill, they opposed the debt limit bill even more. As a result, they voted "no" on the resolution that combined the rules for both bills. But the coupling did what it was intended to do: it encouraged a large number of Democrats to support the rule. The combined rule passed 269-160.

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