WASHINGTON--The House voted Wednesday to lift the debt-ceiling to pay federal government bills until May 19 on a 285-144 mainly party line roll call. All six Illinois freshmen--five Democrats and one Republican--voted for the deal.
President Barack Obama had wanted a long term extension of the ceiling and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged a no vote.
After the vote, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) said, "With the passage of this bill today it's pretty clear that we're sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate: It's time to do your job. The simple -- the principle, I think, is pretty simple -- no budget, no pay. American families have to do a budget. They understand you can't continue to spend money that you don't have. We're committed to doing a budget on the House side, a budget that'll balance over the next 10 years. It's time for the Senate and the president to show the American people how they're willing to balance the budget over the next 10 years."
Pelosi said from the House floor, "Again, this proposal is a missed opportunity. It does not relieve the uncertainty faced by small businesses, the markets and the middle class. It is a gimmick unworthy of the fiscal and economic challenges that we face. This proposal does not have certainty. It does not have growth. And it does not have my support. I urge a 'no' vote."
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), a freshman said in a statement, "Today's legislation is another in a long line of short-term fixes that unfortunately doesn't address our looming long-term fiscal challenges. However, like working families do across our region, I believe the United States has an obligation to pay its bills. I also believe that, like those same families, Congress needs to do its job by passing a budget that reflects the right priorities and live within it."
All the Illinois GOP House members voted for the measure, to be expected, since it was a Republican leadership bill that gives the GOP leverage over the White House in kicking the debt ceiling can down the road for the short-term.
Some of most progressive members from Illinois, Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis and Luis Gutierrez voted against the bill.
Another Democrat, Rep. Mike Quigley who comes from the progress wing, voted yes, as did one of the most conservative Democrats from Illinois, Rep. Dan Lipinski.
The five Democratic freshmen--who all survived tough races in November--voted yes: That's Reps. Tammy Duckworth, Cheri Bustos, Bill Enyart, Brad Schneider and Bill Foster.
Voting yes were all Illinois GOP members: freshman Rep. Rodney Davis and Reps. Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, Aaron Schock and John Shimkus.
Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush did not vote.
My Sunday column on the debt-ceiling debate and kicking budget and spending plans down the road is HERE.