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Yesterday, the Senate voted to raise the debt ceiling through May 19th, 2013, which will allow the federal government to rack up about $450 billion in new debt. The bill, H.R. 325, had previously been passed by the House, with a provision that is intended to force the Senate to pass a budget for the first time in over three years. In reality, the "No Budget, No Pay" provision in the bill is unlikely to be effective, and thus the bill amounts to a "clean" debt ceiling increase. You can see how your Senators voted HERE.
FreedomWorks issued a Key Vote: NO on H.R. 325 in the Senate. With the national debt at an unprecedented $16.4 trillion - more than the entire annual output of the U.S. economy - any increase in the debt ceiling must be accompanied by immediate spending reforms in order to put our country on the path to sustainability and growth.
A number of Senators offered amendments to H.R. 325, which would have forced Congress to handle these recurring fiscal crises responsibly. FreedomWorks Key Voted in favor of two of these amendments, both of which failed:
Finally, the Senate voted on H.R. 325 itself, and passed it 66-33.
Unfortunately, 12 Republicans joined all but one of the Democrats in passing the bill in the Senate:
Ayotte (NH), Blunt (MO), Cochran (MS), Collins (ME), Graham (SC), Heller (NV), Hoeven (ND), McCain (AZ), Murkowski (AK), Shelby (AL), Thune (SD), Wicker (MS)
Be sure to call or email your Senators to let them know your thoughts on their votes, good or bad. You can also go to DCDoYourJob.com to tell the Senate to finally perform its basic duty of passing a budget.