When Republicans negotiated a deal over the summer with President Obama to increase the debt ceiling, they agreed that the president would get the money in two steps: $900 billion when the deal first passed and another $1.2-$1.5 trillion dollars later. That second increase would be subject to a "Resolution of Disapproval" to deny that second increase.
Sounds threatening, but even if the Resolution passed both the House and the Senate, the President could veto the measure. Congress would then need 2/3eds of both chambers to override that veto. Judging by the 239-176 vote in the House today, just six Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the resolution, that's extremely unlikely.
Republicans, however, got another chance to vote against increasing the debt ceiling. And most Democrats go on the record, again, supporting the increase, which is good election year ammunition for the GOP.
"Less than six months removed from last summer's so-called debt crisis, the House is on the verge of committing another act of generational embezzlement, we are on the verge of signing another $1 trillion of debt to our progeny because we can't muster the courage to make hard decisions" said freshman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on the House Floor.
His colleague from South Carolina, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), made it out to seem like a loan to President Obama, asking if would "ever really intend to pay it back" and criticized the President's budget.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was asked about the process at her weekly press conference with reporters today. She called the vote today an exercise that reflects "juvenile behavior" by House Republicans.
Pelosi said that Republicans "were willing to jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States of America to such an extent that our credit rating was downgraded, to such an extent that our credit rating was downgraded, to such an extent that our reputation for seriousness was questioned. I think sent a message to the American people that it was important for them to know about the tea party Congress."
The Senate is expected to take up the same resolution next week, where it is more likely to be rejected.