In political vote, House GOP opposes new borrowing

AP News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2011 7:19 PM
In political vote, House GOP opposes new borrowing

The Republican-run House on Wednesday weighed in against raising the government's borrowing limit by $500 billion, but the vote was really just a political show.

Legislation that President Barack Obama signed last month raised the debt limit by $400 billion immediately. A second increase, this time by $500 billion, was to take effect this month unless both the House and Senate voted to block it.

Last week senators defeated efforts to stop the $500 billion increase. So even though the House went on record with a 232-186 vote Wednesday against the second increase, the action had no real consequence.

GOP Rep. Tom Reed of New York said Republicans still wanted to make the point that they're serious about the issue. Democrats said it was a waste of time.

The vote took place as officials said a so-called supercommittee charged with drafting legislation to cut long-term deficits by $1.2 trillion would hold a closed door meeting Thursday. There was no public announcement of the meeting and the agenda was unknown.

The panel has had two public meetings, including one on Tuesday in which Douglas Elmendorf, director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, described the magnitude of the challenge the panel faces in trying to both reduce deficits and stimulate the economy.