Under the plan, at least 10 Senate Republicans would vote to allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling by simple majority. The Senate could begin voting to authorize this process on Thursday, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was “confident” the plan had enough GOP support.
But both houses are actually expected to raise the debt limit in a separate vote – a vote that could take until early next week to clear both the House and the Senate.
“We’re sending them a process that will get them going,” House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) Said. “Once they act, it will come here, and we will have to act.”
Senior Democrats, including McGovern, are confident they will avert disaster before the Treasury runs out of cash in the middle of next week. “There are bumps in the road, but I feel good,” said McGovern.
With McConnell’s blessing, the procedural gamble is almost certain to end the high-stakes partisan standoff that has divided party leaders and threatened an unprecedented default in recent weeks. The Democrats’ measure also addresses other painful year-end cliffs, including billions of dollars in impending Medicare payment cuts, which GOP lawmakers were also keen to avoid.
“A lot of people don’t want to be part of these cuts,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) After Republican senators rallied on the issue Tuesday afternoon, predicting that more than 10 GOP lawmakers could ultimately support the bill to prevent this reduction and allow Democrats a simple majority vote on managing the debt limit.
But then the majority party will have to vote alone on raising the debt ceiling, as Republicans frame their campaign attacks around the accusation that the majority party’s spending plans both boost inflation and delay. Economic Growth.
Democrats have yet to indicate how high the new debt limit will be, but the cap is expected to exceed $ 30 trillion, to ensure Congress does not have to act again before the mid-election. term of office next year.
“This is a staggering number, and a number they tried to avoid,” said Senate Minority Whip John Thune (RS.D.). “The Democrats are going to have to pay all the expenses they have advocated. And now they’re going to have to pay for it by raising the debt ceiling to meet all of these expenses. And that’s the point we’ve been making from the start.
While Republicans argue that raising the debt ceiling will make room for any future spending Democrats pass, both sides were instrumental in building up the $ 29 trillion in debt that is now pushing the debt. nation on the verge of defaulting on its loans, and in debt limit action has generally been bipartisan.
Under the bill passed by the House on Tuesday night, Congress will avoid a 2% cut in Medicare payments that Congress suspended last year, and a 4% cut that would be triggered by the budget reconciliation process. that Democrats used to embrace President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion pandemic. aid program earlier this year. This process would also require cuts in agricultural aid programs, which the fix would avoid.