June 1, 2011
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers voted against raising the US borrowing cap without making cuts in spending, in a Republican ploy Democrats branded a “charade” unworthy of a vital economic issue.
The Treasury says that unless Congress votes to raise the $14.29 trillion debt ceiling by August 2, Washington could be forced to default on its obligations, in a move that would send shockwaves through the global economy.
Republicans, who won the House of Representatives last November amid a mood of steep anxiety over the ballooning size of government debt, will only back raising the debt limit in return for steep cuts in the deficit.
But they set up a vote on a bill they knew would lose — on raising the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion without a corresponding trim in spending — to show they were serious about getting the budget shortfall under control.