The United States House of Representatives gave final approval Tuesday to a bill passed by the Senate that temporarily raises the government borrowing limit to $ 28.9tn, removing the risk of default somehow in December.
Democrats, who narrowly control the House, are maintaining party discipline to pass the hard -earned, $ 480bn debt limit increase. The vote coincided with party lines, with every yes from Democrats and every no from Republicans.
Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill this week, before Oct. 18, in which the finance department estimates it will no longer be able to pay off the nation’s debts without action in congress.
Republicans insist, Democrats should be responsible for raising the debt limit because they want to spend trillions of dollars to expand social programs and tackle climate change. Democrats say increased borrowing authority is needed largely to cover the cost of tax cuts and spending programs during the Donald Trump administration, which House Republicans support.
The passage of the house has allayed concerns that the world’s largest economy will default for the first time, but in just seven weeks, setting the stage for continued fighting between the parties.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell wrote to Biden on Friday that he would not work with Democrats on another debt limit increase. McConnell was severely criticized by Trump, the leader of the Republican party, after the Senate vote.
Lawmakers also have until Dec. 3 to pass spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown.
The Senate vote last week to raise the threshold – which had been more customary before the current era of fierce solidarity – turned into a controversy. Republicans have tried to link the proposal to Biden’s goal of passing multitrillion-dollar legislation to strengthen infrastructure and social services while fighting climate change.
At a news conference Tuesday, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said she had high hopes that Democrats could make changes to reduce the cost of their social policy plans “in a timely manner “.
In another possible signing compromise, progressive Democrats told reporters most of them wanted to keep all the proposed programs in the multitrillion-dollar plan, while shortening the time period to reduce overall costs. .
Biden proposed a range more similar to $ 2tn than the initial target of $ 3.5tn. In a briefing today, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters: “We’re at a point where there are choices that need to be made, given that there are fewer dollars to spend.”
Psaki said conversations are ongoing between senior White House staff and the president as well as key Democrats such as senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Cinema of Arizona about how to trim the bill and what a smaller package would look like.
Psaki was asked if the president supported Pelosi’s strategy for the “Build Back Better” bill outlined in a letter he sent to caucus members on Monday, passing a bill with fewer programs that would receive more funding. Although he could not confirm whether the president supported the specific approach, Psaki said the charge would be smaller compared to the $ 3.5tn originally proposed by Biden and cited comments made by Pelosi. at his press conference.
“Yes [Pelosi] said at that press conference ‘if there are fewer dollars to spend, there are choices that need to be made’, and the president agreed … If it’s less than $ 3.5tn, which we know it will be, there are choices that need to be do that, ”Psaki said.
“A bill that doesn’t pass means no change,” Psaki said.
Gloria Oladipo contributed reporting