U.S. Representative Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) voted Tuesday evening against H.R. 1954, a clean bill authorizing an additional $2.4 trillion increase in the federal government debt ceiling. (A "clean" bill does not contain any amendments, conditions or restrictions, such as a reduction in federal spending.) The measure was defeated in a lopsided bipartisan vote.
President Obama and Democrats in Congress had requested a straightforward up-or-down vote on raising the amount of money that Washington can borrow. The federal government reached the current $14.3 trillion limit a few weeks ago. They had sought authorization for the Treasury Department to borrow more money, without requiring spending cuts or budgetary reforms.
Guinta said his vote against increasing the debt ceiling is an important step in restoring fiscal responsibility to the nation's finances. "Today Congress faced a choice. The President sought this vote on a clean bill, and he got it. We could have stuck with the same old policies he has pushed for two years: borrow and spend, then borrow and spend even more. But that isn't what Granite Staters want. So I voted to go in a different direction. The people sent me to Washington to bring spending under control, not to create deeper debt and deeper deficits. That's why I said "No!' to giving the government another ride on the carte blanche money merry-go-round."
"Unfettered borrowing and spending have led to financial instability, and that is hindering the economic recovery," Guinta continued. "Job creators are reluctant to expand when there is no sign of self-restraint coming from Washington. We must put our nation's financial house in order and give job creators the confidence they need to expand and hire new employees. Voting against this measure is an important step toward giving them that confidence."
The Obama Administration has said the Treasury Department can continue paying the government's bills for another two months. When asked about the possibility of a similar bill coming for a vote later this summer, Guinta said, "I will only consider raising the debt ceiling in another bill later on if --and only if-- it contains significant cuts in federal spending and meaningful budgetary reforms. Otherwise, I will vote "no' again. "