The U.S. House of Representatives approved a “clean,” unconditional lifting of the federal debt ceiling Tuesday afternoon by a 221-201 vote.
Only 28 Republicans joined 193 Democrats in passing the bill, hours after Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he didn’t have enough support from his own caucus for a proposal to extract concessions from President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Boehner himself voted yes, even though the speaker does not usually cast votes at all. Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., voted no, along with 198 other Republicans and two Democrats.
Earlier in the day, unconvinced conservatives forced Boehner to retreat from an attempt to reverse cuts to military pension in exchange for the debt ceiling hike. Instead, the House voted on a separate bill to undo those pension cuts, 326 to 90.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has set a debt limit deadline of Feb. 27, and the sudden withdrawal left conservative advocacy groups displeased.
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“When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt ceiling increase, we thought it was a joke. But it’s not,” a Club for Growth blog post urging member to vote “no” read. “Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party. This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support.”
The fiscally conservative nonprofit warned that votes will be included in its 2014 Congressional Scorecard, which will rate how Member of Congress perform on the issues.
It was surprising move from the right who in 2011 stood their ground to win a few trillions in spending cuts. But that didn’t come without risks, as the U.S. credit was downgraded.
The Democratic-led Senate is expected to debate and pass the measure before the deadline.