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2004 and 2011: same debt debate, but roles reversed - Comments (0)
Carole Mcwilliams - 7/22/2011
I’ve been having some work done on my house that required moving stuff out of my junk accumulation room. One of the things I found was a yellowed Denver Post clipping dated Nov. 21, 2004, meaning right after George W. Bush was re-elected (not by my vote).
The clipping is of interest given the current congressional stalemate over raising the federal debt ceiling. Yes, this is yet another column about that. I’m sorry. You’re sick of reading them. I’m sick of writing them, but it just won’t go away.
Anyway, this 2004 clipping is the Post’s weekly tally of votes in congress by Colorado representatives.
The first one is, guess what?
A vote to raise the national debt ceiling. It passed in the House by a close vote of 208 to 204, sending S 2986 to President Bush for signature to raise the debt ceiling by $800 billion up to $8.18 trillion.
The summary says, “This marked the third time Congress raised borrowing authority in Bush’s first term.”
Voting yes from Colorado were Republicans Bob Beauprez and Scott McInnis. Voting no were Democrats Diana DeGette and Mark Udall, and Republican Joel Hefley. Republicans Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo didn’t vote.
The next item in this news clipping was defeat of a Democratic effort to attach a “pay-go” requirement to the debt limit increase.
The clipping says it would have set an April 15, 2005 deadline for congress to decide whether to restore pay-go to federal budgeting. The item description said, “A yes vote was to require congress to ‘pay for’ tax cuts and entitlement spending hikes.”
It was voted down with 194 for and 218 against.
Voting no were Republicans Beauprez, Hefley, and McInnis. Voting yes were Democrats DeGette and Udall.
On the Senate side, our two Republican senators, Wayne Allard and Ben Nighthorse Campbell voted yes on raising the debt limit. The senate vote was 52 for and 44 against. The tally doesn’t list a senate vote on a pay-go attachment.
It’s interesting how times have changed. In the current fiasco, House Republicans now want to make raising the debt limit contingent on congress passing a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
Sure, let’s debate the merits and also the problems that could come with a balanced budget amendment. But not with government shut-down/ default looming in less than two weeks.
More promising this week, adults in the senate stepped forward from both political parties for serious discussion of a plan that includes both spending cuts and revenue increases.
The constitutional glitch there is that revenue bills must start in the House, where the kindergarteners are running things. They seem determined to hold their breaths until they turn blue and pass out.
Except that they’ll hold their breaths and it will be all the rest of us who turn blue and pass out.