The House approves 2-month debt limit extension, teeing up another showdown with McConnell’s GOP in December

DEBT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi/Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

  • The House passed a two-month debt limit patch, buying time until the US approaches default again.
  • “This is America’s debt,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a floor speech ahead of the vote.
  • McConnell is pledging to block any effort to raise the debt ceiling in a bid to force Democrats to do it unilaterally.

The House approved a two-month debt limit patch that will run through early December, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature. It amounts to a momentary ceasefire as Senate Republicans are already pledging to block any future renewal of America’s ability to repay its bills.

The vote was 220-206 with every House Republican lined up against the measure. Democrats relied on a procedural maneuver packaging the bill – which cleared the Senate last week – with votes on other measures.

It staves off a catastrophic federal default that the Treasury Department projected would occur in six days. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a speech ahead of the vote, saying he “was playing Russian Roulette with the economy. Russian Roulette for Moscow Mitch.”

“This is our debt. This is America’s debt,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a floor speech.

Now, the bill heads to the White House, buying lawmakers a few more months before it runs up the edge of default again. Another showdown looms in December with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vowing to block any effort to raise the debt limit, unless Democrats do it on their own using a party-line mechanism called reconciliation.

“I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement,” the Kentucky Republican wrote in a scathing letter to Biden on Friday. “Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to address the debt ceiling.”

McConnell argued Democrats must employ the arduous reconciliation procedure to approve a debt-limit hike unilaterally, the same demand he’s made since July. The process allows some measures to be passed with only a simple majority, shielding it from the filibuster’s 60-vote threshold in the Senate.

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