Debt Limit Increase Squeaks by House

Posted December 16, 2009 at 3:41pm

House Democrats squeaked by a two-month patch to the debt limit, approving the measure 218-214. Thirty-nine Democrats joined unanimous Republican opposition to the debt limit increase, and Democratic leaders had to hold the vote open for several minutes to round up more than a dozen votes to put the measure over the top.The bill is aimed at punting the issue into early next year, when Democrats on both sides of the Capitol hope to negotiate a longer-term debt limit hike that also includes two measures aimed at reining in federal spending — enshrining pay-as-you-go budgeting in law and setting up a commission to tackle entitlement spending.But politically vulnerable Democrats already under fire for the majority’s spending record balked at the stand-alone patch, making for a nail-biter vote.