House Republicans stymie plans to increase debt ceiling

Republicans in the U.S. House on Tuesday rejected a big to increase the nation’s debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion – from $14.3 trillion to 16.7 trillion.

“Congress cannot continue sticking its head in the sand when it comes to this looming debt crisis,” U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., said in a statement. “We need to take action today. … Any consideration to raise the debt limit must begin with addressing the spending and broken policies that are causing our deficits.”

The push to increase the debt ceiling failed by a 318-97 vote. If no action is taken by Aug. 2, the federal government could default on its loans, officials contend.

“The federal government has enjoyed an era of unprecedented recklessness, behaving as if the American taxpayers have given it a blank check,” U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., said in a statement. “It’s long past time to permanently end Washington’s party, and that’s why I joined with others in drafting the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ approach.“

As part of their “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan, Republicans in the House want to cut spending and also cap federal spending at 18 percent of the GDP.

“Uncle Sam needs to go on a diet,” U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said in a statement. “For many years, spending has been on auto-pilot but this proposal puts spending cuts on auto-pilot. If Washington is unable to get spending within the limit, my plan provides for automatic, across-the-board cuts.”

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