Debt Limit Vote Symbolizes Washington Gridlock

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WASHINGTON - The Republican-controlled House will likely refuse to raise the nation's borrowing limit another $1.2 trillion.

Wednesday's vote is only symbolic and won't stop the increase, nor will it help break the gridlock in Washington to push legislation through.

Even before the official roll call, it appears that the Republican controlled House will come down on the debt hike resolution with an emphatic "no."

Rather than focusing on the vote, GOP lawmakers turned their attention earlier Wednesday to opposing Democrats, specifically Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"We stand willing to allow the process to work. Sen. Reid has closed the door at every opportunity," Georgia Rep. Austin Scott charged.

Reid has blamed the Washington gridlock on Tea Party Republicans.

But freshman lawmakers in the party say that's not the case since the House passed a budget within months of Republicans taking control.

When the Senate reconvenes next week, 1,000 days will have passed since a budge was approved.

"My daughter Sarah, who's 868 days old ... all of her life there's not been a budget in this country," Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, said.

Tea Party organizers had hoped to see more from the lawmakers they supported, but understand the limitations while facing President Barack Obama and a Democratic Senate.

"Although they haven't got a lot of legislation through, they have done one thing: changed the discourse, the rhetoric in Washington, to talking about making cuts, what can we cut in spending," Tom Whitmore, with the Washington D.C. Tea Party, said.

"They have held Boehner's feet to the fire in terms of the agenda they brought to Congress, and their efforts to implement them through the legislative process," George Washington University political management professor Chris Arterton added.

Florida congressman Allen West rode to Congress with the support of Tea Party voters. He said supporters shouldn't be discouraged by the lack of progress.

"Of course you're not satisfied, but understand this, you're not going to turn around things in Washington, D.C., on a dime. But as I said, the conversation has changed," West explained.

With Congress' approval rating in the tank, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are fighting to project a positive image this election year.

For members of the Tea Party, their campaign is simple: continue fighting for spending cuts and pushing legislation that will create jobs.

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