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Congressional Democrats raise debt limit by $2.5 trillion, averting financial calamity

The bill now goes to the president’s office before Wednesday’s standard deadline.

December 15, 2021, 5:36 am

• 4 minutes reading

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Late Tuesday night, the House voted to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion — a move that should prevent the first-ever default.

The final vote was 221-109.

All Democrats in both the Senate and the House voted to raise the debt limit. A Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, from Illinois, joined them.

The Senate approved the vote earlier Tuesday without GOP support.

The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.

Once signed by the president, the legislation will have prevented a U.S. default that could have halted Social Security and veteran payments, raised interest rates on mortgages and loans, and disrupted the global economy.

The Treasury Department predicted that the US will not be able to pay its bills on Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speaks at a news conference after the weekly Democratic policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 7, 2021.

Congress’ move was the latest in a months-long process aimed at raising the federal borrowing limit.

In October, Republican and Democratic leaders closed their doors on the spending cap. While both parties recognized the need to raise the debt cap, Republicans argued that Democrats should raise the cap themselves — falsely claiming to offset the cost of Biden’s yet-to-be-accepted social spending bill of $1.75 trillion. .

Democrats, who helped raise the debt cap several times under the Trump administration, insisted it was a two-pronged effort, as the debt cap had to be raised to cover past spending.

The October dispute ended in the GOP’s blink, with Republicans giving Democrats the votes needed for a short-term raise to the debt limit, but vowing to be less cooperative in the winter.

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell walks into the Senate Chamber in the Capitol, Dec. 2, 2021.

Last week, however, party leaders announced an agreement on a two-step process to raise the debt limit. Republicans eventually gave 10 votes to allow a one-time rule change, changing the number of votes needed to meet the debt cap increase and paving the way for Democrats to pass legislation without a single GOP – financier.

The agreement reached required Democrats to name a specific amount by which they wanted to raise the debt limit. They equaled $2.5 trillion, enough to prevent the government from defaulting in early 2023, majority leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

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