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Yesterday, the Congress and Senate voted on the debt ceiling; for those of you unfamiliar with the debt ceiling, here is some background.

The debt ceiling limits the amount of money the United States government is allowed to borrow. When the debt ceiling is reached, the government must either raise the ceiling or default on its debt payments. Defaulting on the debt would have a number of negative consequences, including a loss of confidence in the US economy and a decline in the value of the US dollar.

Yesterday, I asked Bard, Google’s regenerative AI, the following question. Who were the no votes in the Senate and Congress on the debt ceiling vote in 2023?

Bard’s Response

Here is a list of the no votes in the Senate and the House of Representatives on the debt ceiling vote of 2023:


    • Rand Paul (R-KY)
    • Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
    • Mike Lee (R-UT)
    • Ted Cruz (R-TX)
    • Marco Rubio (R-FL)
    • John Barrasso (R-WY)
    • Susan Collins (R-ME)
    • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
    • Mitt Romney (R-UT)
    • Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
    • House of Representatives


    • Andy Biggs (R-AZ)
    • Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
    • Madison Cawthorn (R-NC)
    • Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)
    • Jim Jordan (R-OH)
    • Paul Gosar (R-AZ)
    • Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
    • Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
    • Elise Stefanik (R-NY)
    • Barry Loudermilk (R-GA)

Some Background

Once upon a time, I asked ChatGPT where survivors of a plane that crashed on the Canadian and American border should be buried. ChatGPT responded with a complicated answer telling me how to decide on burial locations for survivors. I guess the AI didn’t realize that you don’t bury survivors, but since I knew survivors would be pissed off if we buried them, I became skeptical about relying on AI chatbots.

Did you notice the glaring inaccuracies in Bard’s response to the debt ceiling question?  A quick visual review found two errors; there were probably more, but two was enough for me to trash the answer.

  1. Madison Cawthorn is no longer a congressman; therefore, I thought it was unlikely that he would get to vote. If he did, his vote was as likely to be counted as it is likely that Madison Cawthorn’s IQ is higher than the wattage level of the light bulb in his microwave oven (Note: I asked Bard did Madison Cawthorn have a microwave oven and if he does what is the wattage of the lightbulb in his microwave. Bard didn’t know the answer. So I asked my own proprietary in-house AI, contained in my oversized and little-used noggin, and the reply was Cawthorn doesn’t have the intellectual heft to use a microwave, so he does not own one.)
  2. Kevin McCarthy – Sponsored and Supported the bill, which means that there is a high, like a very high, probability that he voted for his own negotiated bill. Although the only thing you can count on with Kevin is that he will blow in which ever way the wind is blowing at the moment.

Using Bard to Fact-Check Bard

Noticing the two anomalies led me to ask Bard two simple questions.

Question 1

Glen: Is Madison Cawthorn still a Congressman?

Bard: No, Madison Cawthorn is no longer a Congressman. He lost his re-election bid to Chuck Edwards in the May 17, 2022, Republican primary. Cawthorn was the youngest member of Congress when he was elected in 2020. He was 25 years old at the time. Cawthorn was a controversial figure during his time in Congress. He was accused of insider trading, lying about his education, and making inappropriate comments about women. He was also investigated by the House Ethics Committee for his actions. Cawthorn denied all of the allegations against him.

Cawthorn’s loss in the primary was a surprise to many. He was considered to be a rising star in the Republican Party. However, he faced a strong challenge from Edwards, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Cawthorn’s defeat is a sign of the changing political landscape in North Carolina. The state has become more competitive in recent years, and the Republican Party is facing a challenge from Democrats.

Did you see what happened there? The AI opined that Madison made a congressional vote even though Bard knew Mr. Cawthorn wasn’t eligible to vote.

Question 2

Glen: How did Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) vote in the recent vote to raise the debt ceiling?

Bard: I do not have enough information about that person to help with your request. I am a large language model, and I am able to communicate and generate human-like text in response to a wide range of prompts and questions, but my knowledge about this person is limited. Is there anything else I can do to help you with this request?

That kind of blew me away. In the original question, Bard confidently noted that McCarthy was a no-vote. Then like a politician whose commitment to a principle is lower than their commitment to their last campaign promise, Bards backtracks with, “How the hell would I know what I knew 5 minutes earlier?”


The lesson is… if you’re using a regenerative AI to make crucial decisions, don’t just Trust and Verify, Distrust and Verify.

BTW, ChatGPT’s answer was a little more humble than Bard’s.

“I apologize, but as an AI language model, my responses are based on information available up until September 2021, and I don’t have access to real-time data or knowledge of recent events. Therefore, I cannot provide you with specific information about the recent debt ceiling vote or the votes of individual members of Congress or the Senate. I recommend checking reliable news sources or the official websites of the respective legislative bodies for up-to-date information on recent votes.”

The ChatGPT-based AI embedded inside Skype answered with no glaring misrepresentations. I did not fact-check Skype’s AI answer.

Bing, 11:50 AM According to The Washington Post.  the Senate approved the debt ceiling deal on Thursday, June 1, 2023, with a vote of 67-33. The bill would suspend the debt ceiling until December 31, 2023, and limit government spending for the next two years. The bill was supported by all 50 Democrats and 17 Republicans in the Senate. The 33 Republicans who voted against the bill were:

    • John Barrasso of Wyoming
    • Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee
    • Mike Braun of Indiana
    • Ted Cruz of Texas
    • Steve Daines of Montana
    • Joni Ernst of Iowa
    • Deb Fischer of Nebraska
    • Josh Hawley of Missouri
    • John Hoeven of North Dakota
    • Ron Johnson of Wisconsin
    • James Lankford of Oklahoma
    • Mike Lee of Utah
    • Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming
    • Roger Marshall of Kansas
    • Rand Paul of Kentucky
    • Marco Rubio of Florida
    • Rick Scott of Florida
    • Tim Scott of South Carolina
    • Richard Shelby of Alabama
    • Dan Sullivan of Alaska
    • John Thune of South Dakota
    • Thom Tillis of North Carolina
    • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania
    • Tommy Tuberville of Alabama
    • Roger Wicker of Mississippi

The House passed the bill on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, with a vote of 314-117. The bill was supported by 149 Republicans and 165 Democrats in the House. The 117 lawmakers who voted against the bill were (My Note: incidentally, while Skype stated 117 no votes, it only listed 15, which by my math is, let me see, this minus this, carry the one, divide by the, oh nevermind, you can figure out the difference on your own):

    1. Robert Aderholt of Alabama
    2. Rick Allen of Georgia
    3. Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota
    4. Brian Babin of Texas
    5. Jim Banks of Indiana
    6. Andy Barr of Kentucky
    7. Jack Bergman of Michigan
    8. Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma
    9. Andy Biggs of Arizona
    10. Dan Bishop of North Carolina
    11. Lauren Boebert of Colorado
    12. Mo Brooks of Alabama
    13. Ken Buck of Colorado
    14. Larry Bucshon of Indiana
    15. Ted Budd of North Carolina

Want to speak with a guy who challenges your thoughts and reasoning? Do you want to know what it’s like to deal with an executive coach who challenges you to make more well-informed decisions? Someone who can help you more than an AI? Why not try a complimentary hour-long coaching session with me? I promise that even if we don’t develop a long-term relationship, you will end that session with takeaways of value! Schedule here.


Want to learn how to be and model the behavior of a high-integrity leader? Want to get more than you thought possible out of your team? You can check out my new book, Intentional Leadership, available on Amazon, in Hardcover, Kindle, or Paperback by linking here.