Capital Clicks

How did Iowa’s D.C. delegation vote on the debt limit?

By: - December 14, 2021 4:43 pm

The U.S. Capitol on Nov. 25, 2021. (Photo by Jane Norman/States Newsroom)

The U.S. House and Senate voted Tuesday to increase the country’s debt limit by $2.5 trillion — enough to avoid a default until 2023, after the midterm elections.

All 50 Senate Democrats voted to increase the debt limit, winning a simple majority vote. Iowa’s senators, both Republicans, voted with their party against the increase.

Sen. Chuck Grassley told reporters last week he was concerned the political maneuver to allow Democrats to pass the debt increase along party lines, rather than by a 60-vote majority, could set a troubling precedent for future years. Grassley and Sen. Joni Ernst voted against that procedural measure which allowed Tuesday’s vote to take place.

“We’re just saying, on the one hand, if we vote (to raise the debt limit), then it’s okay to go ahead and do your spending,” Grassley said. “Then all of sudden, Republicans are going to turn around and vote against the spending, because we think it’s inflationary.”

The House approved the debt limit early Wednesday morning, after the Senate vote. Just one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, sided with Democrats on the legislation.

Iowa’s House delegation voted along party lines, with Rep. Cindy Axne voting in favor and the three Republican representatives opposing.

“I voted against raising the debt limit,” Rep. Ashley Hinson tweeted. “The U.S. should not default on our debts, but Congress cannot continue recklessly spending like there is no tomorrow.”

“For the sake of future generations, we must implement budgetary restraints to reduce/control our debt,” tweeted Rep. Randy Feenstra.

Lawmakers were on a tight deadline, as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the U.S. could default on its debt by Wednesday without action. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the debt limit increase into law.

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Katie Akin
Katie Akin

Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.

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