A majority of the House Republicans (169 of them) voted in favor of the Ryan-Murray budget deal in December — a deal which was not debt-neutral in the short term — but today only 28 of them voted to raise the debt limit.
I think these people must have been hit in the head too many times or something. You can’t vote through a package that increases the debt and then vote against raising the debt limit to accommodate that increase you already approved.
As a refresher, let’s check back in on part of a popular post I wrote in October, “Shutdown Myth 2: The Debt Ceiling Can Stop Spending”:
The debt ceiling is a limitation set by Congress on the executive branch’s ability to borrow money to pay for expenses Congress has already authorized. Failure to raise the debt limit does not prevent these authorized expenditures happening because the executive branch is constitutionally required to spend the money Congress has ordered to be spent.
Again, no new money is being spent when the ceiling is raised so this doesn’t somehow rein in the spending. It’s merely a cap on the ability to borrow to pay for expenditures Congress already directed the executive branch to make.
To recap: Six times more House Republicans voted to raise the debt itself last year than voted to raise the limit on that debt today.
Thank goodness the Democrats in the minority were allowed to vote through a debt ceiling increase in the absence of people who can add two and two.