Home Framework House approves debt limit framework that will allow it to pass Senate with 51 votes

House approves debt limit framework that will allow it to pass Senate with 51 votes


The House on Tuesday evening approved a framework that would allow the Senate to raise the debt ceiling by a simple majority, to 51 votes.

The fast-track process would force Democrats in the Senate to introduce a bill to increase the debt limit by a certain amount, rather than suspend the debt limit. It could then be voted on with 51 votes – instead of the usual 60 votes required in the Senate. Democrats and Republicans each have 50 votes in the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the deciding vote for Democrats.

The House passed the legislation almost entirely on the basis of party lines, with one Republican, Adam Kinzinger, joining 221 Democrats. He is now heading towards the Senate.

The House Rules Committee released legislation that included the establishment of the procedure as part of a bill preventing cuts in health insurance spending. Lawmakers argued how to proceed for weeks after the debt limit was raised as part of a short-term deal in October.

The Senate could vote to move the process forward as early as Thursday.

The move comes just over a week before the Dec. 15 deadline, after which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said there could be scenarios where the United States might not be able to pay all of it. their bills, increasing the risk of first-time default. time in the history of the United States. She said a default will “gut” the economic recovery.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday the goal was to raise the debt limit with a simple majority without “a convoluted, risky and lengthy process, and it looks like Republicans will help us out. facilitate this “.

He said they were happy with the direction the debt cap process has taken, but warned it wouldn’t be over until it was. Schumer said the amount of the debt limit will be revealed when they “have done so.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the process was in the best interest of the country and in line with Republican views. He also said the process would allow Democrats to “proudly own” the increased debt ceiling, and signaled that enough Republicans were on board.

“I have no doubts that this particular procedure coupled with the avoidance of cuts in Medicare will generate enough Republican support to cross the 60 vote threshold,” McConnell said. This would allow Democrats to then vote to raise the debt limit without any Republican support.

The White House has said it is “encouraged” by the progress made and hopes Congress will move quickly on the debt ceiling so it can focus on the president’s agenda.

On Monday, House leaders suggested that the debt ceiling bill could be linked to the passage of national defense spending legislation. Since then, several Senate Republicans have expressed opposition to linking the two.

Last week the Biparty Policy Center urged Congress to act quickly, saying it was flirting with financial disaster. They revised their projection of the so-called “date X” when the government would be unable to pay its bills to fall between December 21, 2021 and January 28, 2022. The organization noted that due to the pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty about the government’s cash flow.