If House Rejects Debt Limit Increase, It Really Doesn’t Matter

The House is voting on a resolution disapproving of a request by President Obama to raise the national debt limit by $1.2 trillion. But the issue actually was resolved last summer.

Check_MarkThe House returns this week to a vote on a resolution to reject President Obama’s request to raise the national debt limit, now $15.24 trillion, by $1.2 trillion – the final element of a debt ceiling agreement that Congress approved on Aug. 1.

By design, the vote will be more theatrical than practical. Even if the House votes, as expected, to reject the president’s request, the measure still has to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate and avoid a presidential veto – both highly unlikely outcomes. The special treatment of the issue was part of the political compromise last summer that prevented default while allowing Mr. Obama to raise the debt limit and allowed Republicans to disapprove.

In effect, Washington has built itself a buffer heading into the 2012 elections. The big partisan clashes on spending and the debt limits were settled in Congress last year. The federal government is now funded until Oct. 1, the start of a new fiscal year. With this week’s expected hike in the debt limit, the federal government should have enough room for borrowing through the November elections.

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Source: Gail Russell Chaddock | The Christian Science Monitor