By PE Politics
June 1, 2011 12:40 PM

Inland Southern California’s five-member House delegation voted last night against a measure to lift the nation’s national debt ceiling.

The GOP-controlled chamber soundly defeated the measure 318-97. While most lawmakers agree that is necessary to increase the nation’s ability to borrow in order to avoid defaulting on current debt, Republicans demanding that the proposed increase only be allowed if it is coupled with major federal spending cuts.

The vote was seen by many as statement to Obama administration officials and Democrats who have resisted the breadth of cuts proposed by Republicans.

“We’re going to send them a message tonight,” Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, said as he walked to the Capitol Building Tuesday evening.

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, pointed to a sharp rise in the nation’s debt ceiling — now at roughly $14 trillion — as evidence that spending reductions are urgently needed.

“Congress certainly has a responsibility to ensure that the United States will pay its debts and meet its obligations, now and in the future – but we have an equal responsibility to reducing that debt rather than simply agreeing to increase it indefinitely,” Lewis said. “I cannot in good conscience vote to increase the federal debt limit without demanding spending reductions at the same time.”

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