Reid: GOP vote 'defuses' new fight over debt limit

“Today I’m pleased that Speaker Boehner’s House colleagues have decided to change course and pass a bill that defuses yet another fight over the debt ceiling,” Reid told reporters.

“The most important aspect of this legislation, that they’re going to vote on — I understand — in the House today, is that it surrenders the hostage Republicans took in the past,” he added. “It decouples the full faith and credit of the United States from cuts to Social Security and Medicare or anything else.”

Reid praised the House legislation as a clean increase of the debt limit. He dismissed an added provision requiring the Senate and House to pass budget resolutions by April 15 as a meaningless gimmick. Senate and House lawmakers would suffer a pay freeze if they failed to meet the deadline.

Reid proclaimed the battle over the debt limit, which has consumed Congress since the spring of 2011, as settled. He said Republicans can no longer use it as leverage for future spending fights.

“It will set the precedent for future debt-ceiling extensions that we’ll have to have,” Reid said. “By passing this bill, the Republicans are joining Democrats to say we will not hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage. We will pay the bills that we have incurred.”

For more on Reid's comments, click here.