Update: As expected, the House voted against increasing the debt ceiling, 318-97. No Republicans voted in favor of the increase, but 82 Democrats, including Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, voted against it.
There was a lively debate before the vote, during which Republicans sought to cast increasing the debt limit as the country operating in a way that would be financially impossible for individuals or businesses. Democrats said increasing the limit is the only way for the country to meet spending obligations it has already made.
Dueling statements from the Minnesota delegation illustrated the parties’ differences. Democrat Keith Ellison launched a YouTube video explaining his vote in favor of the bill: “America must continue to pay the debts that we’ve already incurred. We didn’t get to be a world leader by not paying our bills.”
Republican John Kline, on the other hand, said in a statement, “It would be irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process. I will reject any increase in the nation’s debt limit that fails to include the significant spending reductions my Minnesota constituents demand.”
Democrat Tim Walz was one of nine members not to vote. His office told Minnesota Public Radio that he was sick, but he would have voted in favor of raising the debt ceiling.
Peterson’s office did not immediately return calls for comment.
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives will consider — and likely deny — a $2.4 trillion increase to the federal debt limit tonight in the first vote on the controversial measure after more than a month of political posturing on the issue. Republicans, including the bill’s sponsor, largely oppose the measure, and Minnesota’s congressional delegation is split on the issue.