In the battle to raise the debt ceiling, politics usually trumps principle.
How else to explain the 180-degree turns that lawmakers of both parties have made in congressional debt ceiling votes since 2002?
President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the biggest supporters today for boosting the debt limit, voted against it in 2006.
“The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” then-Sen. Obama of Illinois said on the Senate floor in March 2006. “It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., voted to increase the debt limit seven times from 2002 to 2008, when Republican George W. Bush was president. But since Obama took office, McConnell has voted against it three times.