House votes to temporarily raise debt ceiling

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The measure is now heading to Biden’s office for his signature.

The House voted on Tuesday to temporarily raise the debt ceiling by $ 480 billion after the Senate approved the stopgap measure late last week, postponing the risk of default until early December.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recalled the lower house in Washington after a two-week hiatus to pass the measure. The bill passed along party lines Tuesday night in a 219-206 vote. He is now heading to President Joe Biden’s office for signing.

“A default would send a shock wave through global financial markets and likely cause credit markets around the world to freeze and stock markets to fall. Employers around the world should probably start laying off workers,” Pelosi said. to reporters at a press conference on Capitol. Hill Tuesday.

The debt ceiling bill was introduced as part of a rule for floor debate of several other bills, meaning there was no stand-alone vote on the measure of the debt ceiling. The bill was considered “deemed and passed” after the rule was passed.

Pelosi avoided defections amid very slim margins in the House. She could only have afforded to lose three votes.

For months, Republicans have said Democrats should act alone to raise the debt ceiling because they have full control of Washington and plan to pass a multibillion-dollar social and economic package without any contribution from Republicans. .

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly said Democrats should raise the debt ceiling because of the high cost of Biden’s proposed program.

Democrats have argued that raising the debt ceiling is a bipartisan responsibility, in part because it covers spending that already took place under the Trump administration.

The House’s return on Tuesday follows a chilling warning from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that if the House does not act this week, the United States risks default and will be unable to pay its bills.

Yellen warned on ABC’s “This Week” that McConnell and the Republicans are playing with “disaster” over an ongoing fight to raise the debt ceiling.

“Fifty million Americans would not receive Social Security benefits. Our troops will not know when or if they would be paid. Of the 30 million families who receive a child tax credit, these payments would be at risk,” said Yellen.

She said such a scenario “could lead to disaster.”

President Joe Biden has said he will sign the bill once the House approves the measure on Tuesday, but lawmakers will again disagree and risk a budget calamity in December.

The new deadline will coincide with the end of the interim agreement to fund the federal government.

Pelosi indicated that an exit from the debt ceiling drama is in the works. She told reporters that the Treasury Department should be able to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling, while Congress retains the power to reverse an increase in the debt ceiling.

“I am optimistic that these decisions need to be made,” Pelosi said.

“We’re not a rubber stamp or a lockdown party – we have discussion and other family values ​​that all of the members have brought to the table,” Pelosi said.

The idea of ​​giving the Treasury the power to lift the debt limit “seems to have some appeal on both sides of the aisle because of the consequences of not lifting it.”

Pelosi said she thought the idea had “merit”.

“We just hope we can do it in a bipartisan way,” she added.

The speaker said she did not support raising the debt ceiling through the reconciliation process, which would allow Democrats to pass any bill by a simple majority. The process takes time, and Democrats have firmly said they oppose its use.

In a letter to Biden, McConnell warned that in December he would be prepared to allow the nation to default on its national debt rather than working with Democrats on a resolution.

“Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to settle the debt ceiling through a stand-alone reconciliation, and all the tools to do so,” McConnell said in the letter. “They can’t make up another crisis and ask for my help.”

ABC News’s Allison Pecorin contributed to this report.


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