One of the first issues that Congress will take up next year is the ever-important vote to raise the debt ceiling. While the national debt has been a pet cause of Tea Partiers, failing to increase our debt ceiling would likely result in a government shutdown and a worldwide economic catastrophe. A report from the Center for American Progress detailed the possible consequences, including a run on U.S. Treasury bonds, which “would cause the cost of U.S. debt to soar, putting even more stress on our budget,” likely throwing us into a “second, very deep, recession.”
Unperturbed, many in the GOP are steadfast in their opposition to raising the debt ceiling. Incoming Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) is the newest member of this growing caucus. In an interview with ThinkProgress on Monday, Denham declared that he would “absolutely” vote against an increase. Rather than planning to cast a symbolic “nay” vote, Denham predicted that the GOP would be able to prevent “this next Congress [from] raising the debt ceiling”:
TP: One of the first things that Congress will take up next year is going to be the debt ceiling. Have you determined what your feelings are on how you’re going to approach that vote?
DENHAM: I just don’t see this next Congress raising the debt ceiling. But it’s certainly a challenge we’re going to have to deal with. I mean, there’s a lot of things at play here in this lame duck session.
TP: So you think that’s something that you’ll probably vote against?
DENHAM: Absolutely, yes.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), the second-highest ranking House Republican, told reporters last month that Republicans will bring up a clean “up-or-down vote” on increasing the debt ceiling next year. It remains to be seen if Cantor will honor this pledge when he likely becomes the Majority Leader during the 112th Congress.