House passes workaround to move forward on raising the debt ceiling

Under the plan, a minimum of 10 Senate Republicans would vote to permit Democrats to increase the debt ceiling with a easy majority. The Senate may begin voting to permit this course of Thursday, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mentioned he’s “confident” the plan has sufficient GOP help.

But each chambers would wish to really hike the debt restrict in a separate vote — one that would take till early subsequent week to clear each the House and Senate.

“We’re sending them over a process that will allow them to move forward,” mentioned House Rules Chair Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). “Once they act, it’ll come over here, and we’ll have to act.”

Senior Democrats, together with McGovern, are assured they are going to avert catastrophe earlier than Treasury is predicted to run out of money in the center of subsequent week. “There are bumps in the road, but I feel good,” McGovern mentioned.

With blessing from McConnell, the procedural gambit is all however sure to finish the high-stakes partisan deadlock that has divided get together leaders and threatened an unprecedented debt default in latest weeks. Democrats’ measure additionally addresses different painful year-end cliffs, together with billions of {dollars} in looming cuts to Medicare payments, which GOP lawmakers had been additionally keen to keep away from.

“A lot of people don’t want to be part of these cuts,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) mentioned after Republican senators huddled on the concern Tuesday afternoon, predicting greater than 10 GOP lawmakers may finally help the invoice to forestall that slashing and permit Democrats a simple-majority vote on dealing with the debt restrict.

But then the majority get together may have to vote alone on really raising the debt ceiling, as Republicans craft their campaign-trail assaults round the accusation that the majority get together’s spending plans are each driving inflation and stunting financial progress.

Democrats haven’t but mentioned how excessive the new debt restrict could be, however the ceiling is predicted to exceed $30 trillion, to guarantee Congress received’t want to act once more earlier than the midterm elections subsequent yr.

“It’s a staggering number, and a number which they’ve been trying to avoid,” mentioned Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.). “The Democrats are going to be on the hook for all the spending that they’ve advocated. And now they’re going to have to pay for it by raising the debt limit to accommodate all that spending. And that’s the point we’ve been making all along.”

While Republicans argue that raising the debt restrict will make room for any future spending Democrats enact, each events have performed a task in racking up the $29 trillion in debt that’s now pushing the nation to the brink of defaulting on its loans, and motion on the debt restrict has usually been bipartisan.

Under the invoice the House handed Tuesday night time, Congress will likely be averting a 2 p.c discount in Medicare funds that Congress paused final yr, and a four p.c discount that might be triggered by the price range reconciliation course of Democrats used to go President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package earlier this yr. That course of would additionally necessitate cuts to farm assist applications, which the repair would keep away from.

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