The Republicans haven’t always been against increasing the federal debt ceiling. This is the first time in recent history (the past decade or so) that no Republican has voted for the increase. In fact, on most of the ten other votes to increase the federal debt limit that the Senate has taken since 1997, the Republicans provided the majority of the votes in favor.
Worth noting, of course, is the sudden drop off in Republican support for raising the debt limit as soon as Obama took office. A little number crunching shows that, under Bush, the Republicans provided, on average, 39 of the 50 votes generally needed to raise the limit. But under Obama, the Republicans have provided only 1 vote on average to raise the limit.