Biden Signs Legislation Temporarily Raising Government Borrowing Limit to $28.9 Trillion, Pushing Default Deadline to December
- President Joe Biden signed into law Thursday to raise the country’s debt limit by $480 billion until early December
- The House on Tuesday approved the increase in the country’s borrowing ceiling
- The approval came after a protracted standoff with Senate Republicans, who derailed initial Democratic efforts with filibusters.
- Minority leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans will not support another hike in December
- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned the US would hit its borrowing limit on Monday, a situation she warned could lead to economic catastrophe
President Joe Biden has signed legislation temporarily raising the government’s borrowing limit to $28.9 trillion, pushing the debt-default deadline only to December.
Without the debt ceiling hike, the US Treasury Department had estimated it would run out of money to pay the country’s bills by October 18.
The $480 billion loan limit increase signed by Biden is expected to be exhausted by Dec. 3.
The House quickly approved the $480 billion loan ceiling hike on Tuesday after the Senate passed it through a party vote so Biden could sign it into law this week.
The approval came after a protracted standoff with Senate Republicans, who derailed initial Democratic efforts with filibusters, delays that require 60 votes to stop. The vote was 219-206, with only Democrats voting positive.
In the end, a handful of Senate Republicans agreed to join the Democrats and voted to end the GOP’s delays and move to a final vote on the legislation, but minority leader Mitch McConnell has said Republicans will not support another hike in December.
The House quickly approved the $480 billion loan ceiling hike on Tuesday, after the Senate approved it in a party vote last week, so Biden (pictured today) could sign it into law this week.
In the run-up to the vote, House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern hammered Republicans for opposing raising the debt limit.
“What we’re doing here is paying the bills that Donald Trump and the Republicans have collected,” McGovern said on the House floor. “It’s like my Republican friends went to a fancy restaurant, drank champagne, ate caviar, and ran out of the restaurant before paying the bill.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned the US would hit its borrowing limit on Monday, an unprecedented situation that she and others warned could lead to economic catastrophe for a country still reeling from a global pandemic.
Routine government payments to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and active-duty military personnel could be delayed, and the economic impact in the US could ripple through global markets.
Passing the increase in the short-term debt ceiling ensures that the US continues to meet its obligations for the time being. But it creates another potential cliff at the end of the year — at a time when lawmakers will also work to pass a federal funding bill to prevent a government shutdown.
Minnesota Representative Michelle Fischbach (R) reviews the final draft of the bill to raise the debt limit during Tuesday’s House Rules Committee meeting in the Capitol. Passing the increase in the short-term debt ceiling ensures that the US will continue to meet its obligations for the time being
Lawmakers from both parties have used the votes on the debt ceiling to leverage other priorities. Since 1997, the ceiling limit has been increased more than five times
McConnell wanted Senate Democrats to go through a debt ceiling hike alone — using the reconciliation process to bypass the filibuster and get a bill through, like the process the Democrats are using for Biden’s massive climate change and social safety net plan. But the Democrats have opposed that option.
The clash between the two parties leaves Congress with no clear solution to avert the next default deadline in December, but the White House has emphasized that it is still pursuing a two-pronged increase.
Lawmakers from both parties have used the votes on the debt ceiling to leverage other priorities. Since 1997, the ceiling’s limit has increased more than fivefold.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threatened to vote against raising the debt ceiling when President Donald Trump was in office, saying she had no intention of supporting lifting the debt ceiling to allow Republicans to give another tax break to the rich. to give.
In 2011, Republicans managed to force President Barack Obama to accept a deficit of about $2 trillion as a condition for raising the debt limit — though lawmakers later reversed some of those cuts.