Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling

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President Biden on Thursday signed a bill raising the debt ceiling, averting a default for at least another month.

The House interrupted its scheduled recess and voted earlier in the day to raise the debt limit into December, when lawmakers will again have to raise the ceiling to avoid catastrophic economic consequences.

Biden administration officials had warned the nation would default if the debt limit was not raised by Oct. 18, potentially pushing the economy back into a recession after months of steady gains amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The House previously passed legislation twice in the last few weeks to suspend the debt limit into December 2022, first as part of a government funding bill and later as a stand-alone measure. 

The Senate last week passed a short-term debt ceiling extension in a party line, 50-48 vote, though 11 Republicans joined with Democrats to get the required 60 votes to overcome the legislative filibuster.

The Senate vote followed a standoff between Democrats and Republicans over raising the debt limit. The White House and congressional Democrats insisted for weeks the act should be bipartisan as it had been for years, and they argued doing so now was not about covering spending from Biden’s agenda.

After the vote, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed the GOP would not assist Democrats with raising the debt ceiling further when it has to be done again in December. The pledge will likely force Democrats to contend with the possibility of raising it through budget reconciliation, something some members of the party have been reluctant to do.

Tags debt ceiling Filibuster Joe Biden Mitch McConnell

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