By: Terence Jeffrey
February 13, 2014
The debt of the U.S. government has increased by $2.678 trillion in the 2.5 years since House Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) completed his first deal to put legislation increasing the debt limit through a Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
On Aug. 2, 2011, President Barack Obama signed legislation, approved by the Boehner-led House, permitting the Treasury to increase the debt by $900 billion. Since then, the debt limit has been repeatedly suspended by legislation that needed to pass through the Republican-controlled House.
Yesterday, the House once again passed legislation to suspend the debt limit—this time through March 15, 2015, which is after November’s mid-term congressional elections.
This time, the House voted 221 to 201 (with 10 members not voting) to suspend the debt limit. The majority consisted of House Democrats plus 28 House Republicans–including Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R.-Va.).
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R.-Wis.) voted against suspending the debt limit.
A bill cannot come to the House floor for a vote unless the majority leadership allows it.
On Aug. 2, 2011, when the first debt increase allowed by the Boehner-led House was enacted, the total debt of the federal government was $14,580,704,743,080.97, according to the U.S. Treasury. As of Feb. 10, 2014, the total debt was $17,258,793,918,103.22.
That is an increase of $2,678,089,175,022.25 in the national debt in the two years and six months—or 2.5 years—that the nation has lived under debt limits moved through a Republican-controlled House of Representatives led by Speaker Boehner.
So far, under Speaker Boehner’s debt-limit deals, the national debt has been increasing at a rate of $1,071,235,670,008.90 per year.
That works out to an average of approximately $9,315 in new federal debt per year for each of the approximately 115,006,000 households the Census Bureau estimates there are in the country.
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