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White House Chief Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the Senate debt limit agreement a “positive step forward” on Thursday, indicating that the White House would agree to the one approved by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.N.Y. .

Jean-Pierre discussed the debt limit agreement with reporters during a gaggle on Air Force One during President Biden’s visit to Chicago on Thursday.


The debt ceiling agreement reached by Senate Republicans and Democrats would raise it to $480 billion — the amount needed to get the government through December 3 — at the same time that government funding would end. The deal likely prepares Congress for another debt ceiling deadlock ahead of the Christmas break.

Some Senate Republicans are trying to get their GOP allies to unanimously agree to move the debt ceiling bill to the floor on Thursday rather than wait until Saturday as the chamber would have to do otherwise.

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Schumer sets date for potential debt ceiling vote as Congress averts crisis

If the Senate manages to get a unanimous consent to go ahead with the debt limit increase, the bill could pass by Thursday night. Otherwise, it may take time for the bill to be passed on Sunday.

However, many Senate Republicans are upset that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to a temporary increase in the debt limit. So it’s unclear whether Republicans will be able to meet the required votes on that plan.

At this point, Jean-Pierre said, “this is a positive step,” adding that the White House is going to “follow” and “will continue to work closely” with the leadership.

“We’ll keep doing what we’re doing, which is making it really clear what’s at stake, and asking Mitch McConnell and the Republicans to get out of the way, stop using this political football, our Stop potentially crippling the economic health crisis,” she said. “This is something that has been done … under the last President Donald Trump three times, in a bipartisan manner … It should not be where we are today.”

She continued: “As I said, this is a positive step and we will be in touch with Leader Schumer and working closely with him.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the government would go into default for the first time in history if it failed to raise the debt limit before the October 18 deadline. Yellen said this would have disastrous consequences that could plunge the country into another recession and destabilize global markets.

The federal borrowing limit currently stands at $24.8 trillion.

The debt limit was suspended three different times during the Trump administration, according to Yellen. The most recent suspension was passed in 2019 on a bipartisan basis – it expired in June 2021.

Failure to raise or suspend the loan limit could delay Social Security and child tax credit checks this October. Yellen said millions of American families, as well as nearly 50 million senior citizens, would be affected, who depend on the Child Tax Credit to meet their expenses. Federal employees may also experience pay delays.

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Raising or suspending the debt limit allows the federal government to pay off obligations that have already been incurred. It does not authorize new spending.

Granthshala News’ Chad Pergram and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.