House sends debt limit hike to Biden, to avoid default – The Denver Post
Written by Kevin Friking
Washington (AFP) – Representatives of the House of Representatives on Tuesday pushed through a short-term increase in the country’s debt limit, ensuring the federal government can continue to pay its bills in full through December and temporarily avoiding an unprecedented default that would decimate the economy.
The $480 billion increase in the nation’s borrowing ceiling led to the Senate’s liquidation last week in a party-line vote. The House quickly approved it so President Joe Biden can sign it into law this week. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that steps to avoid a default on the country’s debt will be exhausted by Monday, and from that point on, the department will soon be unable to fully meet the government’s financial obligations.
A default would have massive repercussions on global financial markets built on the fundamental security of US government debt. Routine government payments to Social Security recipients, disabled veterans, and active-duty military personnel would also be called into question.
The relief provided by passage of the legislation will only be temporary, forcing Congress to reconsider the issue in December — a time when lawmakers will also work to complete federal spending bills and avoid a damaging government shutdown. The year-end backlog raises risks for both parties and threatens to bring a turbulent approach to Biden’s first year in office.
“I am pleased that at least this allows us to prevent a completely self-made and completely avoidable economic catastrophe while we work on a long-term plan,” said Representative Jim McGovern, a Democrat.
Republicans signaled that the upcoming debate over debt limits would not be easier, and warned Democrats not to expect their help.
“Unless the Democrats give up their dream of great government, and a socialist America, they can’t support raising the debt limit and helping them pave the highway to a great entitlement society,” Representative Tom Cole said. Ok no.
Procedurally speaking, the House held one vote on Tuesday that had the effect of passing the Senate bill. The measure passed by 219 votes to 206.
The current standoff over the debt ceiling subsided when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., agreed to help pass the short-term increase. But he insists he won’t do it again.
In a letter sent Friday to Biden, McConnell said Democrats will have to deal with the next increase in the debt limit themselves using the same process they tried to use to pass Biden’s plan for massive social and environmental spending. Reconciliation allows the legislation to pass the Senate with 51 votes instead of the normally required 60. In the 50-50 Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris gives Democrats a majority with her decider vote.
Lawmakers of both parties have used debt-ceiling votes as leverage for other priorities. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened to vote against raising the debt ceiling while President Donald Trump was in office, saying she had no intention of supporting raising the debt ceiling to enable Republicans to grant other tax breaks to the wealthy. In 2011 Republicans were able to force President Barack Obama to accept nearly $2 trillion in deficit cuts as a condition of raising the debt limit — although lawmakers later backed away from some of those cuts.
Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that Republicans and Democrats have voted over the years against raising the debt ceiling, “but not to the point of putting it at risk.”
Pelosi has offered her hope that Congress will raise the debt ceiling in a bipartisan manner next December because of the risks involved. But she also introduced a bill sponsored by Representative Brendan Boyle, Democrat of Pennsylvania, that would shift the duty to raise the debt limit away from Congress and assign it to the Secretary of the Treasury, saying, “I think it’s worth.”
In his focus on the debt limit, McConnell has attempted to link Biden’s large federal government spending increase with the country’s growing debt burden, although they are separate and the debt ceiling will have to be raised or suspended regardless of whether Biden’s $3.5 trillion plan makes it fit. to law.
“Your aides on Capitol Hill now have time to claim that they lack addressing the debt ceiling through a stand-alone settlement, and all the tools needed to do so,” McConnell said in a letter to the president. “They can’t invent another crisis and ask for my help.”
McConnell was one of 11 Republicans who sided with Democrats to submit a debt-ceiling delay to a final vote. Then, McConnell and his fellow Republicans voted against the last paragraph.
The debate over the debt ceiling has become personal at times. McConnell noted last week that Democrats are playing “Russian roulette” with the economy because they have not dealt with the debt ceiling through the process he insisted. Pelosi asked to travel to Europe last week.
“I can only assume that she hopes to settle the entire faith and credibility of the United States,” McConnell said.
Pelosi did not let the ball pass. “Russian Roulette from Moscow Mitch. She said.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said Tuesday’s vote marks the 50th time since President Ronald Reagan has voted to extend the debt limit.
“No one has clean hands when it comes to limiting debt,” he said.
Because the Senate bill only allowed a temporary hiatus to be extended, Hoyer called it a “bad deal.”
“And then we’ll play that game again, which is despicable and irresponsible for the adults who know best,” Hoyer said.
Representative Chip Roy, R-Texas, said he wanted to “thank” Hoyer for sharing that he had previously voted to raise the debt ceiling 49 times.
“When he entered this body, the debt was close to a trillion dollars,” Roy said. “Thank you, I think, on behalf of the American people who are staring at 28 and a half trillion dollars in debt.”
The current debt ceiling is $28.4 trillion. Both parties have contributed to this burden with decisions that have left the government rarely working in black.
The tragic fallout from default is why lawmakers have been able to compromise to raise or suspend the debt ceiling nearly 18 times since 2002, often after repeated rounds of brinkmanship.