Bill Nelson was against raising the debt ceiling before he was for it. And he was for it before he was against it.
Now, the senior senator from Florida is set to vote for his Democratic party’s plan to raise the federally allowed borrowing limit yet again.
Over the past decade, Nelson has voted 10 times on debt-ceiling resolutions, zigzagging as much as Congress itself, often depending on who’s in the White House and what’s to blame for the rising debt.
“I think the president was right in saying both political parties bear responsibility for running up the federal debt,” Nelson said.
On six occasions — three times under President Bush and three times during Obama’s term — Nelson voted to raise the debt ceiling. On four occasions — all under Bush — Nelson voted against raising it as a protest against tax cuts.
This time, Nelson’s vote has particular weight. He faces re-election in a political season when President Obama’s public support is waning. Nelson’s poll numbers suggest his re-election is far from a sure bet.