Dem Bill To Raise U.S. Debt Limit Clears House Hurdle
A Democrat-backed bill to fund the US federal government through Dec. 3 and suspend its borrowing limit until the end of 2022 cleared a House of Representatives procedural vote on Tuesday, advancing to a final debate and vote, Richard Cowan reported for Reuters.
Photo Insert: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Even if the measure passes the Democratic-controlled House when it votes on the full bill later on Tuesday, it faces a major roadblock in the Senate, where Republicans have vowed to oppose it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set the stage for a showdown with Republicans on Monday when they said they would combine spending and debt measures in one bill, despite Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's vow to block an increase in the $28.4 trillion debt ceiling.
On Tuesday, McConnell reiterated that vow. But he also said: "I want to repeat once again: America must never default. We never have and we never will."
Speaking to reporters, McConnell added: "The debt ceiling will be raised, as it always should be. But it will be raised by the Democrats."
Democrats likely have the votes to pass the measure in the House. If it fails to win Republican support in the Senate they would have to pass it through reconciliation, a maneuver that gets around the Senate's rule that 60 of the chamber's 100 members approve must legislation.
They also plan to use that strategy to pass President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion domestic investment plan. "Playing games with the debt ceiling is playing with fire and putting it on the back of the American people," Schumer said in a speech.
Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to approve stop-gap funding that would avert partial government shutdowns with the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.