Flashback: the debt ceiling vote in the Republican-led 2003 Congress as opposed to NOW

“Understand –- raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up. In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine.  Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it. President Reagan did it 18 times. George W. Bush did it seven times. And we have to do it by next Tuesday, August 2nd, or else we won’t be able to pay all of our bills.” – President Obama, address to the nation on July 25, 2011, rated as TRUE by PolitiFact.com

How about raise the debt ceiling and discuss spending cuts and tax revenues afterwards? One page, one sentence, we’re good to go.

What? The teaparty would never allow such a simple process to be performed as it has numerous times in the past several decades? I guess it must be because Obama is in the White House…

A stroll down memory lane with Steve Benen (emphasis mine):

Let’s look back at how the Republican-led Congress dealt with the debt-ceiling increase in 2003 — a year before George W. Bush would seek a second term.

Here’s an article the Washington Post ran in May 2003:

Just hours after passing one of the biggest tax cuts in history, the Senate approved an unprecedented increase of nearly $ 1 trillion in the statutory limit on government debt, prompting Democrats to try to embarrass Republicans by linking the two milestones.

The bill, approved 53-44, goes to the White House in time to be signed into law before the administration runs out of maneuvers to avoid the risk of another first-ever event: financial default by the U.S. government. […]

After the vote, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow hailed the Senate action, saying, “today’s action prevents uncertainty that would adversely impact our economic recovery.”

The key detail, however, is the duration of the extension Republicans approved in May 2003. Knowing that an election year was coming up, GOP lawmakers passed an 18-month extension, raising the debt limit to $7.4 trillion, long enough to make sure another increase wouldn’t be necessary until after the November 2004 elections.

This, Republicans said at the time, would reduce economic “uncertainty” — a concept GOP officials took very seriously up until about a month ago.

And who voted for this extension, covering the nation until after the next election cycle? In the House, Eric Cantor was one of 216 members to vote to raise the debt ceiling. In the Senate, 53 Republicans approved the same move, 20 of whom who are still in the chamber, including Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, John McCain, Orrin Hatch, and Dick Lugar. In fact,every Republican senator who was serving then and still serving now voted for this increase to raise the limit beyond the 2004 race.

Got that? Every Republican senator who was serving then and still serving now voted for this increase to raise the limit beyond the 2004 race.

The rules are always, always different for the GOP — they think. I guess someday they might realize that the rest of us don’t agree with that kind of shit-headery.

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  1. Pingback: PIC: I think all Americans can relate to this right now… | Under the Mountain Bunker

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