Yarmuth votes for Obama's debt limit request; Ky.'s other 5 congressmen vote 'No'

06/01/2011 07:43 AM

UPDATED: Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler joined Kentucky’s four Republicans to oppose the president’s request to raise the debt ceiling on Tuesday evening. That left U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville the lone ‘Yes’ vote from Kentucky.

The U.S. House overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Obama’s request to raise the federal government’s debt limit from $14.3 trillion to $16.7 trillion. It failed by a 97-318 vote with seven Democrats voting “present” and nine lawmakers not voting, according to the official roll call.

Many congressmen spoke against the measure because it didn’t come with corresponding cuts to federal spending.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for Congress to vote to increase the national debt without including binding, immediate and far-reaching spending reductions,” said U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, a Bowling Green Republican, in a statement. “We must take this moment to act decisively to rein in spending.”

House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans have called for cutting federal spending $1 for every $1 the debt limit is raised.

Congress needs to act on the debt ceiling before August or risk the government defaulting on its debt, which could start a financial chain reaction across the globe, economists have warned.

“While it’s important that the United States not default on its debt, any discussion of raising the debt limit must be accompanied by significant reforms and cuts in federal spending,” said U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, a Republican from Hebron who represents the 4th District. “We cannot continue to spend money we do not have.”

Davis made similar comments earlier this month in his appearance on Pure Politics.

Yarmuth said in a statement to Pure Politics that the Republican leaders were “playing politics with the full faith and credit of the United States of America.”

“This is a reckless game that jeopardizes American jobs and America’s economic recovery, which is why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers support my clean debt ceiling vote,” Yarmuth said. “The absurdity of the Republican position on this issue is magnified by that fact that their own budget would require an $8.8 trillion increase in the debt ceiling over the next 10 years.”


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.