President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill that raises the nation’s debt limit to early December, delaying the prospect of an unprecedented federal standard that would cause economic disaster.
The House approved the $ 480 billion borrowing ceiling on Tuesday, after the Senate approved it in a party vote last week. The final approval came after a lengthy violation of the Senate Republicans which traced from the first democratic efforts with filibusters, delays that require 60 votes to stay.
In the end, a handful of Senate Republicans agreed to join the Democrats and voted to stop GOP delays and move to a final vote on the legislation, but minority leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans will not offer any support for a further increase in December. .
Minister of Finance Janet Yellen had warned that the United States would reach its credit limit on Monday, an unprecedented situation that she and others warned could lead to economic disaster for a nation still suffering from a global pandemic. Routine government payments to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and active military personnel could be delayed and the economic downturn in the United States could ripple through global markets.
The transition from the short-term debt ceiling increase ensures that the United States will continue to meet its obligations for the time being. But it sets up another potential cut at the end of the year – at a time when lawmakers will also be working to approve a federal funding bill to stave off a government shutdown.
Republicans have said Democrats should use a budget maneuver to tackle a debt-free increase without Republican support, such as the process the Democrats are using for Biden’s massive climate change and social protection plan. But Democrats have opposed that option. The quarrel between the two parties leaves Congress without a clear solution to avert the next standard deadline in December, but White House has emphasized that it is still pursuing a two-party search.
Legislators from both parties have used the debt ceiling’s voices as leverage for other priorities. The house’s speakers Nancy Pelosi threatened to vote against raising the debt ceiling when President Donald Trump was in office, saying she did not intend to support raising the debt ceiling to enable Republicans to give another tax cut to the rich. And in 2011, Republicans succeeded in forcing President Barack Obama to accept about $ 2 trillion in deficits as a condition for raising the debt limit – although lawmakers later rolled back some of those cuts.
Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.