Right-wing and tea-party groups already have House Speaker
The vote Tuesday was 221 to 201, with 28 Republicans joining 193 Democrats in the yes column. Only two Democrats voted no, alongside 199 Republicans.
Even some tea-party affiliated Republicans had endorsed the idea of a "clean" debt-limit bill on the assumption that it would pass mainly with Democratic votes. That way, they reasoned, Republicans could wash their hands of the distasteful affair and blame Democrats for piling on more debt.
Officially, though, tea-party talking heads were outraged at the vote.
“We recognize that Speaker John Boehner was unable to corral a House majority to insist on some budget reform," said
Maybe so, but really, the debt limit is just ministerial. Republicans and Democrats jointly voted to pile on more debt in December (through the $1-trillion budget resolution, which was about half funded by borrowing) and in January (through an enormous spending bill for fiscal 2014, which also relied on borrowed dollars). Raising the debt limit simply lets Washington keep its commitments and pay its creditors.
Regardless, more than two dozen Republicans are now in the uncomfortable position of countering the debt-ceiling demagoguery from their own party. (As I've noted before, the parties take turns playing demagogue on the debt ceiling, depending on who's in the White House. Then-Sen.
Aside from Boehner, the GOP yes votes included Majority Leader
That's not to suggest the House leadership was united in support of the bill; to the contrary, Republican Conference Chairwoman
Many of the other Republicans voting yes had been critics of the partial
On the other side of the ledger, the Democrats voting against the bill were centrist Reps.