Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

This paper is an analysis on House Representative voting patterns in regards to increasing the federal debt ceiling. This study relied on data obtained from Howard Rosenthal and Keith Poole on roll call data from 1993 until 2011, with specific attention to House of Representative votes.

This paper focuses on the federal debt ceiling and the recent increases to continue financing government operations. The federal debt has been increasing at unprecedented levels due to the lack of economic growth and financial crisis that have impacted the United States. The impact of increasing the federal debt limit is examined as well as the effect of past policies to address this issue. The analysis draws on a regression model examining votes against raising the debt limit and found political parties opposite of the Presidential party vote against increases to debt. The findings suggest political party affiliation is the strongest indicator of voting behavior on the federal debt limit. Further research needs to be conducted at the individual level of House members to get a better analysis of voting behavior and factors that attribute to voting patterns.