Bush's Fiscal Irresponsibility

So you thought Republicans were the party advocating limited government spending and fiscal responsibility? Think again. The Republican-dominated Senate voted today for to increase our federal debt by $800 billion.

The bill, if approved by the House in a vote expected on Thursday, would authorize the third big increase in the federal borrowing since President Bush took office in 2001. Federal debt has ballooned by $1.4 trillion over the past four years, to $7.4 trillion, and the new ceiling would allow borrowing to reach $8.2 trillion.

With no end in sight to the huge annual budget deficits, which hit a record of $412 billion this year, lawmakers predicted on Wednesday that the new ceiling would probably have to be raised again in about a year.

Democrats opposed the measure.

"I don't remember anyone during the elections making a promise to raise the federal debt to $8.1 trillion," Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, said. "What we're doing here is just writing another blank check and saying to this administration, 'Go ahead, continue to run record budget deficits.' "

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