WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on Thursday that raises the nation’s debt limit until early December, delaying the prospect of an unprecedented federal default that would spell economic disaster.
After the Senate approved it on a party-line vote last week, the House on Tuesday passed a $480 billion increase in the country’s borrowing limit. The final approval came after a lengthy standoff with Senate Republicans, who derailed initial Democratic efforts with filibusters, requiring 60 votes to delay.
Ultimately, a handful of Senate Republicans agreed to join the Democrats and vote for a final vote on legislation to end the GOP delay, but Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that Republicans have another raise in December. There is no support. will give
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the US would hit its borrowing limit on Monday, an unprecedented situation she and others warned could spell economic devastation for a nation still battling a global pandemic. is battling. Regular government payments to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and active-duty military personnel will potentially be delayed, and the economic fallout in the US could spread to global markets.
The passage of the short-term debt limit increase ensures that, for now, the US will continue to meet its obligations. But it sets up another potential cliff at the end of the year, when lawmakers will also work to pass a federal funding bill to prevent government shutdowns.
Republicans have said Democrats should use a budgetary maneuver to pass an increase in the debt limit without Republican support, such as Democrats are using for Biden’s massive climate change and social safety net plan. But Democrats have opposed that option. The struggle between the two parties to postpone the next default deadline in December leaves Congress without a clear solution, but the White House has insisted it is still pursuing bipartisan escalation.
Lawmakers on both sides have used debt ceiling votes as leverage for other priorities. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has threatened to vote against raising the debt limit while President Donald Trump is in office, saying she supports lifting the debt limit to enable Republicans to give the wealthy another tax break. Is. There is no intention. And in 2011 Republicans managed to get President Barack Obama to accept nearly $2 trillion in deficit cuts as a condition for raising the debt limit, though lawmakers later withdrew some of those cuts.
Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.
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