104 Current Congressional Republicans Who Voted to Increase Debt Ceiling Under Bush - Without Hostage Threats

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated on Sunday that House Republicans would not allow a clean vote to raise the debt limit and ensure the full faith and credit of the United States of America. But while now Congressional Republicans demand everything from the destruction of the Affordable Care Actto a constitutional amendment in exchange for allowing the government to pay for what it has already incurred, many of them made no such demands nine years ago when a Republican was in the White House.

Boehner says that Congressional Republicans “are not going to pass a clean debt limit increase” because “it is time to deal with America’s problems.” But in 2004, he joined with 205 other House Republicans to pass S. 2986, a bill thatadded $800 billion to the nation’s statutory debt ceiling with no strings attached.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), in encouraging his House colleagues to back the bill said:

[A]s we debate this and as we make our final vote, let us not punish our seniors, let us not punish our elderly, let us not punish our military just to score political points. If the debt ceiling is not increased, America cannot pay its bills. We cannot meet existing obligations. We will not ultimately have the cash on hand to pay Social Security benefits, military retirement, Medicare benefits, unemployment benefits and other trust fund obligations. As raw as this recent election was, as bitterly contested as it was, with hurt feelings all around, we need to work together as Americans to take responsibility for our bills.Let us not default on our obligations. Let us not stop the checks to our needy who are counting on us. Let us not use our elderly as political pawns in trade for a seven second sound byte back home. They deserve better. We have a responsibility to pay our bills.

Brady, Boehner, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), and 84 other House Republicans who are still serving in Congress today voted for the bill (10 of whom are now Senators).

In the Senate, 50 Republicans — 17 of whom are still serving today — voted for the identical bill. Among them was Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who explainedthe bill was “necessary to preserve the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.” He observed that “without an increase in the debt limit, our Government will face a choice between breaking the law by exceeding the statutory debt limit, or breaking faith with the public by defaulting on our debt. Neither choice is acceptable.”

In total, Congressional Republican leaders backed five separate debt ceiling increases during Bush’s eight years in the White House. The still-serving Republicans heeding President George W. Bush’s call for a clean debt limit increase in 2004 were:


Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.