Not unexpected, but still remarkable: The US House has decisively defeated a bill that would have heeded President Obama's call to raise the US debt limit by over $2 Trillion -- independent of any strings, conditions, or mandatory fiscal restraint language. The final vote total was 97 Yeas (all Democrats), 318 Nays (including every single voting Republican and nearly half of the Democrat caucus), and 7 'presents' (also all Democrats).
This much is clear -- the United States Congress will not vote to increase the debt ceiling unless that decision is coupled with serious, meaningful spending reductions and reforms. Perhaps the White House will finally get that point tonight after dozens of Democrats sided with the GOP on this question.
Tonight's outcome is also remarkable on a purely political level. For the second time in two weeks -- the last example being the 2012 budget vote in the Senate -- Congress, including many within the president's own party, has soundly defeated legislation that was either crafted, or strongly supported, by the White House.
UPDATE - Speaker Boehner reacts to the vote:
“Tonight’s vote shows the House is listening to the American people. The Obama Administration and congressional Democrats have repeatedly asked for a debt limit hike without any spending cuts and budget reforms, and the American people simply will not tolerate it. Raising the debt limit without major spending cuts and meaningful reforms would hurt our economy and destroy more jobs, adding to our debt crisis. Today the House stood with the American people and said very clearly that this course of action is unacceptable. Republicans have passed a budget and outlined a pro-growth job creation plan that pays down our debt over time. We need to create a better environment for private-sector job growth by stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have, not by raising taxes and adding more debt onto the backs of our kids and grandkids.”
UPDATE II: Of the 114 Democrats who signed a pledge in support of President Obama's failed "clean vote" preference, 29 ended up voting with Republicans tonight.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography