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On February 7th, the debt ceiling, which had been suspended, snapped back into place, leaving the United States saddled with $17.3 trillion in debt.
To their shame, Republican leaders in both chambers never even considered attaching meaningful spending reforms to the debt ceiling bill. Instead, much of the debate inside D.C. involved attaching measures that would have actually increased spending.
But perhaps more distressing is that this extension once again simply suspends the debt ceiling for a set period of time - in this case until March 15, 2015. Until that time, the president could, if he wished, borrow well above the amounts authorized under current budgetary limits, and Congress would likely be unable to stop him. This transfer of borrowing authority from Congress to the executive is dangerous and irresponsible, and must not be allowed to continue.
For all of this, the bill to raise the debt ceiling S. 540, passed the House, 221-201, and passed the Senate, 67-31. [Note that the bill title doesn't match its contents - the House used an existing Senate bill as a "vehicle" to pass it more quickly.]
Sadly 28 Republicans voted to suspend the debt ceiling with no strings attached:
Boehner (OH-8) Calvert (CA-42) Camp (MI-4) Cantor (VA-7) Coble (NC-6)
Collins (NY-27) Dent (PA-15) Fitzpatrick (PA-8) Grimm (NY-11)
Hanna (NY-22) Hastings (WA-4) Issa (CA-49) King (NY-2) LoBiondo (NJ-2)
McCarthy (CA-23) McKeon (CA-25) Meehan (PA-7) Miller (CA-31)
Nunes (CA-22) Reichert (WA-8) Rogers (KY-5) Roskam (IL-6) Royce (CA-39)
Runyan (NJ-3) Shimkus (IL-15) Smith (NJ-4) Valadao (CA-21) Wolf (VA-10)
And 12 Republicans voted to end debate on the debt ceiling increase in the Senate, allowing it to pass:
Barasso (WY) Collins (ME) Corker (TN) Cornyn (TX) Flake (AZ) Hatch (UT)
Johanns (NE) Kirk (IL) McCain (AZ) McConnell (KY) Murkowski (AK) Thune (SD)
**Update** It appears that the Senate vote was more contentious than the numbers indicate. Roll Call reports that the senators' votes were kept silent instead of being called live - allowing six GOP senators to switch their votes at the last second to ensure that the bill could pass. This is a striking, but sadly all-too-common, illustration of legislators being willing to vote in whatever direction they feel is politically necessary, instead of voting on principle and good policy.