The House of Representatives passed a law Democrats are hoping for on Tuesday prevent a government shutdown and avert impending economic catastrophe by temporarily suspending the US debt ceiling.

The vote was taken in a 220-211 party line vote, with all Democrats for and all Republicans voting against. However, the bill must now authorize the Senate, and with GOP members threatening to block the proposal, President Biden faces the prospect of a federal funding deadline.

The bill will provide funding to the federal government until December 3 and suspend the national borrowing ceiling until the end of 2022. If this legislation, or something similar, is not passed by September 30, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned congressional leaders that the United States will not be able to pay the bills. unpaid at some point in October.

Republicans resisting increased spending

The big challenge facing the proposal comes from the Senate where GOP leader Mitch McConnell has insisted that Republicans will not support anything that calls for an increase in the debt ceiling. Democrats argued that the Republican Party was responsible for the increase in the national debt by supporting the Trump administration’s tax cuts in 2017, but McConnell reiterated he thought it was the Democrats’ problem. to solve.

“We do not have a divided government. Democrats do not need our help,” Senate Minority Leader McConnell said in a statement. “Tthey have all the tools to set the debt limit themselves: the same party-line process they used to accelerate inflationary spending in March and are already planning to use again this fall. “

However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has criticized the GOP for this stance and warns of the economic damage failure to raise the debt ceiling could cause, with a first american defect not off the table.

On Tuesday, Schumer said: “It’s playing with fire. To play with the debt ceiling is to play with fire and put it on the backs of the American people. “

What is the debt ceiling?

The federal debt ceiling is maximum amount of borrowing that the U.S. government can use to fund its program, and it is calculated as a running total from one jurisdiction to the next. The legal debt limit does not affect consumers, but it could prevent the government from funding vital social programs if a solution is not found by the end of September.

Yellen warned of the potential repercussions: “Almost 50 million seniors might stop receiving Social Security checks for a while. Troops might not be paid. Millions of families who depend on the monthly Child tax credit might see delays.

Currently, the maximum borrowing capacity is $ 28.4 trillion and any increase or suspension of the debt ceiling would have to be approved by both houses of Congress before being enacted by Biden.


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