Congress Approves Raising the Debt Ceiling

The US House of Representatives gives its final approval to a bill passed by the Senate to temporarily raise the government's borrowing limit to $28.9 trillion.

  • The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Tuesday.
    The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives gave final approval on Tuesday

On Tuesday, the US Congress passed a bill raising the public debt ceiling for the United States until the end of the year, in a temporary measure raising the government's borrowing limit to $28.9 trillion, pushing off the deadline for debt default only until December.

Democrats, who control the House by a slim margin, maintained party discipline to pass the $480 billion debt limit increase by a vote of 219-206. The vote was strictly partisan, with Democrats voting yes and Republicans voting no.

President Joe Biden is anticipated to sign the bill into law before October 18, the date after which the country will no longer be able to pay its bills without congressional action, as per the Treasury Department.

"We have temporarily averted crisis ahead of next week’s deadline, but come December, members of Congress will need to choose to put country before party and prevent default," said Democratic Representative Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Republicans stress that Democrats alone should be responsible for raising the debt ceiling because their Party wants to spend trillions of dollars on expanding social programs and tackling climate change.

In contrast, Democrats say the increased borrowing limit is needed largely to cover the cost of tax cuts and spending programs during former Republican President Donald Trump's administration, which congressional Republicans supported.

It is worth noting that lawmakers have until December 3 only to pass legislation to fund the government and avoid shutting it down.