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House 'disapproves' debt ceiling hike

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:52 PM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Republican-supported measure is expected to die in the Senate
  • Wednesday's vote is part of the debt ceiling agreement last August
  • It allows legislators to register disapproval with the $1.2 trillion debt ceiling increase

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a political gesture Wednesday, the U.S. House voted to "disapprove" the Obama administration's recent request to raise the nation's debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion.

The 239-176 vote was mostly along party lines, with one Republican opposing the measure in contrast to support from the rest of the party's majority caucus, while six Democrats supported it.

The measure now goes to the Senate, where passage is considered unlikely. In addition, President Barack Obama would veto the disapproval measure if it reached his desk, requiring a subsequent two-thirds majority in both chambers to override him.

Wednesday's vote was part of a deal reached to ensure passage of the contentious debt ceiling agreement last August.

The mechanism of holding future votes of disapproval was demanded by Republicans to provide political cover for their needed support in passing the debt ceiling bill to avoid a possible government default on its obligations.

The latest debt ceiling increase was the last of three requests authorized by the August agreement, and is expected to provide enough money to satisfy U.S. debt obligations until after the November election.

The House also voted in September to disapprove a previous request to raise the debt ceiling by $500 billion. The Senate, however, approved that increase.

CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.

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