NOTE TO READERS: This story has been updated for clarity.
PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s three Republicans in Congress, who have been critical of Democrats’ spending, are taking different sides on the method of how the federal debt limit can be expanded.
Many congressional Democrats want a higher debt limit.
South Dakota U.S. Senator John Thune was one of nine Republicans who voted Thursday for allowing it to happen with a different specific process that would apply only on a one-time basis.
Thune’s office issued this statement to KELOLAND News: “The process that is now in place will force Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own and be honest with the American people about the damaging effect their out-of-control spending will have on the long-term fiscal health of our country.”
The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats. Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, could cast the tie-breaking vote if necessary.
South Dakota U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson earlier had voted no when the question came up for consideration by the U.S. House. U.S. Senator Mike Rounds didn’t vote Thursday.
The Congressional Budget Office says the current $28.9 trillion limit has been reached and the federal government will run out of cash if a $118 billion transfer is made to the federal Highway Trust Fund next week.
Johnson’s office issued this statement to KELOLAND News: “Democrats passed $2 trillion in spending in April without talking to Republicans. They are working to pass an additional $5 trillion in spending now without talking to Republicans. In that environment, they shouldn’t expect Republicans to help them issue trillions more in debt to pay for that irresponsible, go-it-alone spending.”
Earlier this week, Republican Governor Kristi Noem outlined her budget proposal to the Legislature. Many of her one-time spending proposals rely on federal coronavirus and infrastructure aid.