DSG DEMOCRATIC STUDY GROUP. U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
225·5858 • 1422 HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING. WASHINGTON, D.C. 20515
HON. DAVID R. OBEY (Wisconsin) - Chairman RICHARD P. CONLON - Staff Director
No. 97-1 January 30, 1981
GOP DEBT LIMIT POLITICS
President Reagan's request to increase the public
debt ceiling by $50 BILLION will give House Republicans
their first opportunity to show which political game they
will play with debt legislation this Congress.
For twenty years, from 1953 to 1973, GOP Members
played straight partisan politics with debt bills, supporting
them when requested by Republican Administrations and
opposing them when asked for by Democratic ones.
Since 1973, however, House Republicans have played
a different political game -- voting against every debt
bill regardless of who requests it. Thus, a majority of
GOP Members rejected eight debt ceiling increases during
the Nixon and Ford Administrations, and 13 during President
Carter's Administration. This has forced House Democrats
to carry the political burden of passing debt bills
which keep the Federal Government operating.
Thus, Republican Members have been able to posture
as "fiscal conservatives" while they label Democrats as
"irresponsible big spenders".
This report contains the following sections:
Background and Summary
Votes on Debt Limit
Congressman Charles Wilson began his political career in 1960 when he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He served in the Texas House of Representatives for six years and was then elected to the Texas Senate in 1966. On November 7, 1972, the second district of Texas elected Charles Wilson to the U.S. House of Representatives. He retired from the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996.
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