Joe Biden Voted Against Debt Ceiling Increase in 2006, Worrying About Deficits

WASHINGTON - JULY 13: Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat Joseph Biden (D-
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006, voicing concerns about the rapid increase in the debt under then-President George W. Bush.

On March 16, 2006, Senate Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling, with Senate Democrats largely voting against the statutory limit of the country’s debt.

Then-Sen. Biden voted in lock step with Senate Democrats against this bill, which would raise the debt ceiling from $8.184 trillion to $8.965 trillion.

During his Senate floor speech explaining his vote against the debt ceiling increase, Biden lashed into then-President Bush, claiming Bush did not do enough to balance the budget or pay down the debt:

In the 5 years he has been in office, President Bush has added more to our foreign debt that the 42 Presidents before him. It took 224 years to accumulate $1 trillion of debt to other nations. It took President Bush just 5 years to more than double it.

Over $3 trillion in debt, foreign debt and debt held by Americans, has been piled up by this administration.

When he set out on the course that brought us to this sorry state, the President was clearly and repeatedly warned that massive tax cuts would leave us vulnerable to natural disasters, economic slowdown, or threats to our national security. “Don’t worry,” the President told us. “I know what I am doing.”

After 9/11, in the face of what he has himself called the moral equivalent of the World War II, or the Cold War, he insisted that while everything else had changed, he would not change his economic policies.

Facts had changed. His promise to balance the budget, his promise to pay down the debt, were proved to be false. [Emphasis added]

But he refused to take responsibility for his policies. He refused to admit that a changed world demanded a change of course.

His refusal has pushed us deeper and deeper into the hole. His refusal added $450 billion to the debt in 2002; it added $984 billion in 2003; it added $800 billion in 2004. And here we are again today, adding another $781 billion. With that addition, our national debt will be $8.6 trillion at the end of this year.

The President’s budget plans will bring that number to $11.8 trillion at the end of the next 5 years. This is a record of utter disregard for our Nation’s financial future. It is a record of indifference to the price our children and grandchildren will pay to redeem our debt when it comes due. History will not judge this record kindly.

Now, seventeen years later, it appears that Biden’s tune has changed about the need for structural reforms to resolve America’s debt crisis. The Biden White House and Senate Democrats have signaled that they do not want structural reforms to the federal government’s spending habits.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) predicted on Monday that Democrats would win the debt ceiling negotiations against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

The New York Democrat said, “No hostage-taking, no brinkmanship. Pass the debt ceiling.”

Twenty-four Senate Republicans on Monday wrote a letter to President Biden, calling on Biden to back spending reforms that would reduce the deficit.

“Americans are keenly aware that their government is not only failing to work for them – but actively working against them. We do not intend to vote for a debt-ceiling increase without structural reforms to address current and future fiscal realities and manage out-of-control government policies,” the Senate Republicans wrote.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.