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September 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, Sept 14, 2011 (AFP)
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a resolution symbolically rejecting an increase in the US national debt.

By a 232-186 vote, the House passed the measure stating that it “disapproves of the president’s exercise of authority to increase the debt limit.”

The vote however has no real effect, because the Democratic-controlled Senate rejected a similar measure last week.

Following bitter mid-year budget negotiations that brought the United States to the verge of defaulting on payments, both parties in Congress agreed on July 31 to immediately increase the debt by $400 billion, then increase it by a further $500 billion in September unless the House and the Senate both passed measures opposing the move.

“Borrowing even more before we can enact significant spending cuts to begin dealing with the root problem is a foolish errand,” said Republican Representative Tom Reed.

Democrat Charles Rangel voted against the measure.

“To go against the president’s ability to maintain the integrity of the United States of America I think it is just so wrong,” said Rangel.

Democrats saw the vote as a chance for Republicans to symbolically show their supporters that they remain strongly against debt increases.

Separately, a congressional “SuperCommittee” has been tasked with finding ways to reduce debt by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years and presenting its findings in November.

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