House approves bill to raise debt ceiling
Ignoring a veto threat from President Barack Obama, House lawmakers on Tuesday approved a Republican bill that would raise the U.S. debt limit on condition that both chambers of Congress pass a balanced budget amendment and make deep spending cuts next year.
The House bill, which would raise the debt limit by $2.4 trillion, is dubbed "Cut, Cap and Balance." It is expected to fail in the Senate and has been ridiculed by the White House as "duck, dodge and dismantle."
The House's vote came on the same day that Obama cited progress in negotiations to raise the debt ceiling and lauded a newly released Senate "Gang of Six" plan that would cut $3.7 trillion from deficits over 10 years.
The House bill was approved on a vote of 234-190.
Republicans say that they offered the plan to avoid a default by the U.S. government and that cutting and capping spending will ensure that Washington lives within its means.
"Today, the House will vote on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act; our balanced plan to meet the president's request for a debt-limit increase while achieving serious spending cuts, binding budget reforms, and putting in place a balanced-budget amendment to ensure we don't continue to kick the can down the road," said a statement from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's office before the vote on Tuesday.
The White House said the bill sets up an "unacceptable choice" between lifting the debt ceiling or passing a balanced budget amendment that would cut Medicare and Social Security too deeply.
The Obama administration has repeatedly urged Congress to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling by Aug. 2 or else the government will face default on its obligations.