Both the House and the Senate passed measures this week to raise the debt ceiling until March 2015, with House Speaker John Boehner conceding to Congressional Democrats and the White House, and setting a precedent for future prospects of brinkmanship between the two parties.
On Monday, after a three-year period full of possible defaults and shutdown standoffs, Boehner violated his own rule, bringing to the floor a “clean” debt ceiling bill without additional language requiring spending cuts in return for a debt ceiling increase. By a vote of 221-201, the House passed the bill.
Right-wing Republicans from in and outside of Congress were not happy with the Speaker’s submission to Democrats, who have been unwilling to accept a debt ceiling tied to budget cuts.
“A clean debt ceiling is a complete capitulation on the speaker’s part and demonstrates that he has lost the ability to lead the House of Representatives, let alone his own party,” co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, a Tea Party interest group, Jenny Beth Martin said according to the New York Times. “It is time for him to go.”
The bill was expected an easy passage in the Senate until Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) filibustered the motion, requiring a cloture vote of 60 to overcome the block. The Senate overcame the hurdle by a vote of 67-31 and eventually acquired a final passage of 55-43.
Again, the same stance was echoed in the Senate: Republican disappointment at the surrender of their party’s leaders to the Democratic majority in the Senate and to the inflexible attitude of the White House.
“I think we ought to have some spending reforms as part of a debt limit increase,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said according to NPR.
This latest debt-ceiling situation sets an optimistic standard for the future of Congressional politics. In the midst of the 2014 election season, 28 Republicans in the House and 12 in the Senate chose to vote against the Tea Party, signifying hopefully a good trend away from Tea Party policies. Hopefully, House and Senate member colleagues follow suit.