US Senate approves debt ceiling extension by $480 billion

The US Senate has just passed a bill to help the country avoid default in the next few weeks.

US Capitol Building. Photo: AFP

In the vote on the night of October 7 (US time), 11 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in voting to pass a bill to increase the debt ceiling. With 60 votes in favor – the minimum number of votes needed to end debate and pass in the Senate, the bill has moved to the House of Representatives for consideration in the coming days.

Democrats have struggled to get Senate support for raising the debt ceiling. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen previously warned the country was at risk of economic disaster if Congress did not increase or delay the application of the loan ceiling by October 18.

The Senate’s vote on the bill will allow the US to raise the debt ceiling until early December. The bill allows raising the debt ceiling by $480 billion, an amount the Treasury Department estimates will help the US pay its debts. debt up to December 3. The US national debt currently stands at $28.4 trillion and will be expanded to about $28.8 trillion.

Thus, US congressional leaders have achieved a breakthrough after weeks of debate over the bill to no avail.

In fact, Republicans have been pushing in recent weeks to push Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own without Republican support. In essence, Republicans want Democrats to raise the debt ceiling through budget adjustments, a process that could make Democrats responsible for a large portion of the national debt ahead of the election. midterm 2022.

Republicans also argue that the burden of raising the debt ceiling will fall on Democrats as the Biden administration wants to pass a trillion-dollar spending plan on climate change and fighting poverty, using the rule of law. “reconciliation” (reconciliation).

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden attacked Republicans and argued that the debt ceiling law is bipartisan. Democrats also noted that they had supported three delays in raising the debt ceiling during the administration of former President Donald Trump, at a time when the US national debt ballooned to $7.9 trillion.