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The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 219-206 to approve a short-term increase in the federal debt ceiling, preventing fiscal calamity and ending – for now – tense negotiations between the two major parties.
The House vote comes after the Senate passed the measure last week, which will prevent the nation from defaulting on its debt obligations.
The bill increases the borrowing limit by $ 480 billion – an amount that the Treasury Department estimates are expected to keep debt payments going until Dec. 3.
Had Congress not been able to come to an agreement, the fallout would have been “catastrophic,” according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, with child tax credits, Social Security benefits and military paychecks in effect. Game.
The December deadline was a compromise between Republicans and Democrats, but the path to a longer-term solution remains uncertain.
Republicans insist Democrats use the Senate reconciliation process to raise the debt ceiling based on party line, but Democrats balked at the idea, noting Republicans were prepared to increase the debt limit. borrowed three times under former President Donald Trump.
December 3 is also the date when government funding is about to run out.
The debt fight comes as Democrats are also pushing to invest trillions of dollars in a number of social and climate programs. This battle has its own set of problems, as the progressive wing of the party wants more ambitious spending while the party centrists seek a thinner package to get Congress through.