House votes in favor of GOP plan for raising debt limit

House Speaker Boehner of Ohio, center, left, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., center, right, walk through the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, following a GOP caucus meeting. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Speaker Boehner of Ohio, center, left, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., center, right, walk through the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, following a GOP caucus meeting.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted in favor of the GOP plan for raising the debt limit - but the proposal, which would require passing a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget, has essentially no chance of becoming law.

The measure, called the "cut, cap and balance" plan, passed in the House with a 234 to 190 vote that largely fell along party lines.

The vote, however, was mostly symbolic: because any spending cuts would be contingent on the passage of a constitutional amendment, the bill would require approval from two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. In the Democrat-dominated Senate, achieving that support is likely impossible.

Furthermore, the White House on Monday issued a veto threat against the plan, calling it "inconsistent with [a] responsible framework to restore fiscal responsibility."

The proposal would allow the government to raise the legal U.S. borrowing limit by $2.4 trillion, but it would also make huge spending cuts -- as much as $111 billion in 2012 alone, which many argue would slow the economy.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney lambasted the plan on Monday, and said it would "require the dismantlement of our social safety nets."

"You know, this is a measure to designed to duck, dodge and dismantle -- duck responsibility, dodge obligations, and dismantle, eventually, if enshrined into law, which it will not be -- but it would essentially require the dismantlement of our social safety nets, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," Carney said in a press briefing.

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