Debt Limit Cacophony Ends With A Meh
The Thing That Must Happen happened, as the House of Representatives passed the debt limit bill 314–117 after months of fretting over it.
The Thing That Must Happen happened, as the House of Representatives passed the debt limit bill 314–117 after months of public and private fretting over it.
Late last night, the House cleared the bipartisan debt-limit bill by an overwhelming 314–117 margin.
And today, the Senate today kicks off what could be a brisk, 36-hour sprint or a drawn-out, days-long marathon on that legislation, the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Leaders in both parties hope it’s the former. Not only to preserve their weekends, but to calm world financial markets ahead of the deadline Monday for a U.S. government default.
Based on our conversations with leadership aides, there’s a reasonable hope that the Senate can pass the debt-limit package by Friday night. And last night’s blowout House vote will lend some momentum to this. Two-thirds of House Republicans were in favor, with an even bigger total among Democrats.
The key here for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will be clinching a time agreement with senators who are demanding votes on amendments — and then making sure that those amendments don’t pass. We expect all of these amendments to be considered at a 60-vote threshold.
The New York Democrat could file cloture on the motion to proceed to the House-passed bill as soon as today if there’s no agreement.
Schumer emphasized on Wednesday that the U.S government would default on its debt if the House needed to take up an amended bill. So, in some ways, the amendment push is an exercise in political theater.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune told us that he’d heard from at least a dozen GOP offices seeking amendment votes, and some Democrats are interested in amendments as well.
Importantly, Schumer has backing from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders when it comes to the urgency of passing this bill, which extends the debt limit until Jan. 1, 2025, while also cutting…