Adam Kinzinger Only Republican to Vote with House Democrats to Raise Debt Ceiling

Representative Adam Kinzinger was the only Republican lawmaker who voted with Democrats in the House to raise the debt ceiling, staving off a potentially disastrous federal default.

Last week, Kinzinger was also the only Republican to back the Democrats over the plan struck by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) allowing Senate Democrats to lift the ceiling through a simple majority vote.

The Illinois congressman, one of 10 Republicans to vote for the second impeachment of ex-President Donald Trump after the Capitol insurrection and one of only two GOP lawmakers on the January 6 committee investigating the riots that day, will not be standing for re-election in the 2022 midterms.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) on Capitol Hill October 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. He was the only Republican to vote with House Democrats on December 15, 2021 to increase the debt ceiling. Alex Wong/Getty

Early Wednesday, Kinzinger joined Democrats in voting with the bill to raise the debt limit by $2.5 trillion to increase it to close to $31 trillion, just squeezing ahead of the deadline set by the Treasury Department.

The House vote, which passed 221-209, followed the Senate passing the bill in a party-line 50-49 vote earlier on Tuesday. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill promptly to ensure the U.S. does not default on its debts. The vote means the debt ceiling will not have to be hiked again until 2023, well after the midterm elections.

Defaulting on its debt for the first time would have had catastrophic consequences both for the U.S. and world economies. While raising the debt ceiling is typically a bipartisan affair, the Republicans argued that the Democrats should take full responsibility for it.

Democrats emphasized that the higher debt limit did not mean there would be any new spending, rather it would allow the U.S. to meet its financial obligations through next year and 2023.

"By raising the debt limit, we are meeting our existing obligations to members of the military, veterans and recipients of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee said in floor remarks, according to the Hill.

However, the GOP, which is also in a wrangle with Democrats over the price tag of the Build Back Better Act, claimed raising the debt limit would lead to out-of-control spending.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) told the House that the GOP would not support increasing the debt ceiling "while Democrats push through trillions of dollars for purely partisan political spending and thereby depleting our Treasury, not just for today, but for generations to come."

Schumer told the Senate on Tuesday that people can "breathe easy and rest assured there will not be a default," Politico reported.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

U.S. Capitol
The U.S. Capitol pictured on December 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. The House of Representatives has voted to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, staving off the threat of a federal default. Leigh Vogel/Getty