Washington – Members of the House on Tuesday pushed through a short-term increase in the country’s debt limit, ensuring the federal government can continue to pay its bills in full in December and temporarily prevent an unprecedented default Which would have destroyed the economy.
The $480 billion increase in the country’s borrowing limit was approved by the Senate on a party line vote last week. The House swiftly approved it so that President Joe Biden can sign it into law this week. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that steps to prevent a default on the country’s debt would be finished by Monday, and from that point on, the department would soon be unable to fully meet the government’s financial obligations.
A default would have a huge impact on global financial markets built on the cornerstone security of the US government’s debt. Regular government payments to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and active-duty military personnel will also be questioned.
The relief offered by the law’s passage will only be temporary, forcing Congress to revisit the issue in December – a time when lawmakers are also trying to meet Labor bills to meet federal spending bills and avoid a damaging government shutdown. will do. The year-end backlog poses risks for both sides and threatens an upheaval nearing Biden’s first year in office.
“I’m glad this at least allows us to avert a completely self-made and completely preventable economic catastrophe as we work on the long-term plan,” Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. he said.
Republicans signaled that the next debt limit debate won’t be any easier and warned Democrats not to expect their help.
FILE – The US Capitol on October 3, 2021 in Washington, DC, US. Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images
“Unless Democrats give up on their dream of a big government, socialist America, Republicans cannot support raising the debt limit and help them pave the way for a superhighway to a great entitled society,” Rep. Tom Cole , R- Okla.
Procedurally, the House took a single vote on Tuesday that had the effect of passing the Senate bill. The measure passed by a party-line vote of 219-206.
The current impasse over the debt limit eased when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to help pass the short-term increase. But he insists that he will not do it again.
In a letter sent to Biden on Friday, McConnell said Democrats would have to handle the next debt-limit increase on their own, using the same process they used to pass Biden’s massive social spending and environmental plan. done for. Reconciliation allows the law to be passed by the Senate with 51 votes instead of the 60 that is usually required. In a 50-50 split, Vice President Kamala Harris gave a majority to Democrats with her tiebreaking vote.
Lawmakers on both sides have used debt ceiling votes as leverage for other priorities. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has threatened to vote against raising the debt limit while President Donald Trump is in office, saying she has no reason to support lifting the debt limit to enable Republicans to give the wealthy another tax break. Not intended. And in 2011 Republicans managed to get President Barack Obama to accept nearly $2 trillion in deficit cuts as a condition for raising the debt limit – though lawmakers later withdrew some of those cuts.
Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that Republicans and Democrats over the years have voted against lifting the debt limit, “but never to the extent of jeopardizing it.”
Pelosi gave him hope that Congress would lift the debt limit bipartisan this December because of the stakes involved. But he also issued a bill sponsored by Representative Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., that would shift the duty of raising the debt limit from Congress and vest it with the Treasury secretary, “I think it has merit.”
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In his focus on debt limits, McConnell has tried to link Biden’s large federal government spending with the nation’s growing debt load, even though they are isolated and whether the debt limit will have to be raised or suspended whether Biden’s $3.5 trillion. Makes plans or not, it’s in the law.
McConnell said in a letter to the president, “Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claim they lack to address the debt ceiling through standalone reconciliation, and have all the tools to do it.” Huh.” “They can’t invent another crisis and ask for my help.”
McConnell was one of 11 Republicans who sided with Democrats to push debt ceiling recovery to the final vote. Subsequently, McConnell and his GOP allies voted against the final passage.
Debate on debt limits has at times become personal. McConnell suggested last week that Democrats were playing “Russian roulette” with the economy because they had not dealt with debt limits through the process he insisted. He called Pelosi to visit Europe last week.
“I can only assume that he expects the full faith and credit of the United States to settle down,” McConnell said.
Pelosi did not let the shot pass. “Russian roulette from Moscow Mich. Interesting,” she said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD, said Tuesday’s vote marked the 50th time dating back to President Ronald Reagan that he has voted on raising the debt limit.
“When it comes to the loan limit, nobody’s hands are clean,” he said.
Because the Senate bill only allowed for a stopgap extension, Hoyer called it a “shoddy deal.”
“And then we’re going to play this game one more time, which is a despicable and irresponsible act for adults who know better,” Hoyer said.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said he would like to “thank” Hoyer for sharing that he previously voted to raise the loan limit 49 times.
“When he got into this body, the debt was about a trillion dollars,” Roy said. “Thank you, I think, on behalf of the people of America, who are in debt of two and a half trillion dollars.”
The current debt limit is $28.4 trillion. Both sides have contributed to that burden with decisions that have rarely left the government operating in the dark.
The disastrous consequences of the defaults are that lawmakers have been able to settle for lifting or suspending debt limits nearly 18 times since 2002, often after repeated rounds.