Senate Passes Debt Ceiling Increase Until 2023
The United States Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would increase the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion until 2023. The vote was 50-49 along party lines in the evenly-divided body.
Once it officially clears the Senate, the legislation is expected to quickly pass in the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives and be sent to President Joe Biden‘s desk for his signature.
United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had previously warned that if a deal was not reached by December 15 that the federal government risked defaulting on its obligations, which would have catastrophic impacts on the American and global economy.
“The American people can breathe easy and rest assured there will not be a default,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said in a floor speech on Tuesday morning.
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Instead of highlighting a rare instance of bipartisanship, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) chose to berate Democrats and Biden over their progressive agenda.
“If they jam through another reckless taxing and spending spree, this massive debt increase will just be the beginning. More printing and borrowing — to set up more reckless spending to cause more inflation, to hurt working families even more. The American people need a break,” said McConnell.
Normally, raising the nation’s borrowing limit requires a 60-vote margin to get through the Senate. But Schumer struck a last-minute deal with McConnell that allowed the entire Republican caucus to vote against the plan without Democrats having to use the reconciliation process, which saved copious amounts of time.
“They slipped language in a must-pass bill to prevent Medicare cuts that allowed the Senate on a one-time basis to raise the debt ceiling via a simple-majority threshold rather than with the 60-vote threshold it needs to clear on most bills,” Fox Business noted on Tuesday. “This allows Democrats to use their 50 votes, plus Vice President Harris as a tiebreaker, to pass the bill without involving a vote-a-rama or the other procedural hurdles associated with reconciliation – which Republicans were going to help speed along anyway.”
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