Down Debt

Congress pushes back debt ceiling crisis to December

“It’s our debt. It’s America’s debt, ”said Hoyer (D-Md.). “Some of these relate to larger expenses promoted by both sides of the aisle. But let one of us stand up and say, “It’s your debt,” it’s America’s debt and America is paying its bills.

At the same time, Hoyer called the two-month patch “an irresponsible and despicable act for adults who know better.”

The Senate passed the measure last week after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered the short-term solution, after months of Republicans refusing to help Democrats increase the borrowing limit as the party majority are pursuing social spending plans without GOP support.

As his panel convened to prepare the bill for ground action on Tuesday, House Rules Speaker Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Said, “I’m glad this at least allows us to avoid a totally self-taught and totally avoidable economic disaster. as we work on a longer term plan.

If Congress nears debt maturity in early December with no solution at hand, the Treasury Department may be able to continue paying government bills on time for a bit longer, depending on cash flow. federal. But the agency will not be able to deploy the kind of “extraordinary measures” it has used over the summer to avoid the default for months.

Raising the debt ceiling allows the government to continue funding federal spending already authorized by Congress, but this ignores future spending plans for either party.

It is hoped that tying the new debt cliff to the next threat of closure could finally spur the kind of inter-party talks needed to reach a final deal to fund both military and non-military programs for the future. exercise. Biparty negotiations over these essential spending measures have been suspended as Democrats have spent spring and summer focusing on infrastructure and social spending plans they have yet to pass, while giving in repeatedly to Republican pressure to increase Pentagon funding by more than $ 25 billion above Biden’s request. .

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 160 members of the House had indicated that they would not return from the break for the in-person vote on the issue. Instead, these lawmakers plan to vote by proxy, a practice started during the pandemic that allows one lawmaker to vote on behalf of another.

The House also failed to hold a stand-alone vote on increasing the debt ceiling to two months. Instead, the lower house automatically approved a $ 480 billion increase in the debt ceiling when lawmakers voted for a procedural measure to revive the debate on the ground, in a process known as “decisive. “.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), The rules committee’s top Republican, slammed Democrats for playing “a game of smoke and mirrors so they don’t have to be taped on items background”.

Representative Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.) Said the acceleration of the legislation amounted to “an insult to members of this body, who are denied the opportunity to fully consider the seriousness of the extension of the limit. the debt “.

“It accomplishes nothing more than kicking the box on something that should be addressed now,” she said on the floor before the vote.

Earlier Tuesday, McGovern noted that the House had already voted last month to suspend the debt ceiling until December of next year. But this measure hit a wall of Republican resistance in the Senate.

“No one is hiding from anything,” McGovern said. “We all officially voted yes or no.”

Partisan beards in the House pale in comparison to the drama that unfolded in the Senate last week, when Republican leaders scrambled to find 10 GOP senators ready to break ranks with the rest of the party and advance the measurement against an obstruction. Democrats then passed it with a majority threshold.

Before the debt limitation legislation was finally passed, Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) and several Republican senators privately berated Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for giving a speech that some members considered it “inappropriate” for the bipartisan push from the upper house. to avoid the fault.

Across the Capitol on Tuesday, President Nancy Pelosi said the main Democrats “just hope we can do it in a bipartisan fashion.”

The standoff between the two sides to lift the cap on the country’s credit limit – culminating in a measure that only briefly pushes back what many see as a fabricated crisis – has once again infuriated both lawmakers and lawmakers. budget experts and sparked calls for debt removal or reform. limit.

Pelosi said Tuesday that a bill to revise the debt ceiling “has merit.” The bill, proposed by House Budget Speaker John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) And Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Would direct the Treasury Secretary to lift the cap on the borrowing power of the country, rather than submitting the debate to lawmakers. political struggle. But talking about such an overhaul is not serious in the current Congress.

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