The Democrat-controlled House passed a bill to suspend the debt ceiling, but the legislation is expected to die on arrival in the Senate.
The bill passed in a 219-212 vote on Wednesday, Sept. 29, with all Republicans voting no except for Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.). Two Democratic Reps. According to The Hill, Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) also joined with the Republicans to vote no.
The bill is designed to suspend the cap on how much the government can borrow to pay for federal expenditures, such as bureaucratic salaries and social security, through Dec. 16, 2022.
The House’s passage comes less than a month before the United States is expected to default on the national debt, which currently stands at $28.8 trillion.
This week, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that Congress has until Oct. 18 to raise or suspend the debt ceiling before the nation deals with a default.
The legislation now goes to the Senate, where Republican leadership has called on their members to oppose the debt ceiling hike amid tensions with Democrats.
Senate Democrats are poised to pass President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion expansion of the federal safety net by reconciliation. This procedure will allow them to bypass the Senate GOP filibuster.
Early this week, Democratic leaders tried to tie the debt limit suspension to a short-term government funding measure and disaster aid, but their gambit failed in the Senate at the hands of a GOP filibuster. As a result, no Republican senators voted for the government spending and debt ceiling bill on Monday, Sept. 27.
According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Congress has addressed the debt limit 78 times since 1960, 29 times with a Democrat in the White House and 49 times under Republican presidents.