Twenty-eight House Republicans joined 193 Democrats in voting “yes” on the passage of a “clean” debt ceiling hike that would allow the United States to continue to pay its bills until March of next year. While Republicans originally planned to tie the debt ceiling increase to unrelated matters like approval of the Keystone XL or a repeal of the risk corridors provision of the Affordable Care Act, the House GOP was unable to decide on specific demands.
Harry Reid thanked Speaker John Boehner for his efforts to pass the legislation. “I commend Speaker Boehner for doing the right thing,”Reid told reporters, “”I hope this common-sense approach will continue throughout the year so we can actually get things done.” He described the debt ceiling deal as a “good first step” to improving Congress’ relations.
Representative Tom Rooney (R-FL) said that some Republicans are so ideologically opposed to a debt ceiling increase that no bill would have satisfied them. Boehner remarked that it is difficult to get Republicans to agree on an idea. Representative James Lankford (R-OK) said that the House GOP is like “a couple that’s fighting over money all the time.” In other words, the right wing is so divided at the moment that America might actually see a little bit of progress.
It is unclear whether or not the debt ceiling deal will pass the Senate, but some Senate Republicans have reportedly said that they think it will. The Senate is expected to vote within a week.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sees this as a refreshing change of pace for the GOP. “I’m glad that Republican leaders finally bowed to reality and put families and the economy before the Tea Party,” she said in a statement. “The era of economic hostage-taking, ransom demands, and manufactured crises should finally be behind us, and we now have an opportunity to refocus on the real challenges workers and families face every day.”