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Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at the Capitol on April 27, 2023.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at the Capitol on April 27.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via AP file

Debt-limit vote follows ideological split in California Senate race

Rep. Adam Schiff voted yes, while colleagues and rivals Katie Porter and Barbara Lee voted no.


The race to succeed retiring Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has largely played along ideological lines.

The contest features Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (endorsed by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi); Katie Porter (endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.); and progressive Barbara Lee (endorsed by Bernie Sanders-backer Rep. Ro Khanna).

And Wednesday night’s House vote to raise the debt limit and cap some government spending played to that ideological script.

Schiff voted in favor the compromise debt-ceiling bill, which passed by a 314-117 vote and now heads to the U.S. Senate.

“Tonight, I voted to stand with California families who would have been devastated by a disastrous default,” Schiff said in a statement after the vote. “While the agreement President Biden negotiated was far from perfect, this was a necessary step to protect our economy and Californians — I voted to ensure that millions of seniors continue to get their Social Security checks, to protect people’s retirement savings from a devastating reduction in value, and to safeguard the critical benefits our veterans rely upon.”

By contrast, Porter and Lee both voted no.

“This legislation contains giveaway after giveaway to Big Oil, which continues to have too much lobbying influence in Washington,” Porter said. “Polluters should not be allowed to write their own environmental assessments, nor attack our democracy’s bedrock principle of judicial review. I cannot support locking California into years of backward thinking on our economy and our environment.”

Lee added via Twitter, “My top concern has always been about the catastrophic impact a default would have on my constituents. I’m pleased that it will be avoided, but a bill that undermines programs that also directly impact my constituents, Californians, & folks across America is not one I can support.”

Schiff, Porter and Lee are all participating in a top-two Senate primary, where the top two candidates — regardless of party — advance to the Nov. 2024 general election.