Debt Ceiling Would Be Raised For a Year Under Bill
Earlier today, a "clean" debt ceiling bill passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 221-201. The majority of House Republicans voted against the bill, but the House Democrats were able to pass the measure with a little help from the 28 Republicans who decided to vote in favor of it.
The bill will likely head to the Senate on Wednesday, where it is very likely to be passed as well.
The signing of a "clean" debt ceiling bill into law would be a marked departure from all of the partisan squabbling that has taken place over the nation's debt ceiling over the past three years. The Democrats and Republicans have had a couple of monumental battles over the debt ceiling over the past few years, including the summer of 2011 stand-off that resulted in the country having its credit rating downgraded by S+P.
The Republicans and Democrats butted heads once again in October of 2013, and this battle resulted in the government shutting down from October 1-16. The shutdown was deeply unpopular throughout the country, with many people pointing the finger of blame at the Republicans.
The Republican party seems hesitant to get into another protracted battle over the debt ceiling, which is why the "clean" debt ceiling bill is likely to be signed into law very shortly by President Obama. In the past, the Republicans have used the debt ceiling to implement deficit reduction measures. If you want us to sign off on raising the debt ceiling, they said, you'll need to make some cuts so that the nation slows down its out-of-control deficit spending.
This time around, however, the Republicans have backed off of this stance after it became apparent that they wouldn't be able to pass a debt ceiling bill with any provisions tied to it. There were a number of variations thrown around, including a bill that would raise the debt ceiling if Obamacare was delayed by a year AND if the Keystone XL Pipeline was approved. In the end, these were thrown out the window and a "clean" debt ceiling bill (a bill with no provisions) was introduced.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned that the government had until February 27th before the "extraordinary measures" currently being used to keep the government operating ran out.
Unless something unexpected happens this week, the nation's debt ceiling shouldn't be an issue again until this time next year.
With the debt ceiling now out of the picture for the time being, the Republican party is expected to focus on Obamacare in the upcoming mid-term elections.
Filed under: General Knowledge