Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, was one of 33 House Republicans on Wednesday to vote against extending the nation’s debt limit for the next three months.
Herrera Beutler also issued this ultimatum: She will only vote to extend the debt limit when, at the same time, she can vote for a plan that makes significant progress on reducing the nation’s $16 trillion debt.
“Congress and the president have radically overspent the nation’s credit card,” she said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “I believe that continuing this course risks destroying the economic security for virtually every American.”
Extending the debt limit means the federal government can continue borrowing money. Supporters of extending the debt limit said on Wednesday that doing so allows the government to pay off the debt it has incurred.
“My answer is this,” Herrera Beutler said. “Would anyone consider loaning money to another person who had dramatically overspent on their credit card, without also requiring a plan to stop the behavior in the future?”
On Wednesday, 199 House Republicans and 86 House Democrats voted in favor of extending the debt. The debt limit measure also included a provision that essentially would withhold senators’ pay if the Senate does not pass a budget plan by April 15. That rule would apply to the House, too.
New this year, Herrera Beutler sits on the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal discretionary spending.
In August of 2011, when Congress debated about whether to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, Herrera Beutler voted in favor of a deal that lifted the debt ceiling while forcing Congress to either come up with a spending reduction plan or face automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, also known as sequestration.
Earlier this month, she voted for a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff by extending tax breaks for most Americans while increasing tax rates for the most wealthy. The deal also delayed an agreement about spending cuts for a couple of months.