Senate Democrats voted on Tuesday to increase the debt limit by $2.5 trillion. Although Republicans agreed earlier to let Democrats escape the filibuster for one time, none of them voted with Democrats to increase the limit.
Debt limit passed: issue averted until midterm elections
The measure passed the Senate along party lines with 50-49 votes. Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis was absent from the session, helping Democrats in passing the bill.
With this, the bill has now been moved to the House, where it is expected to pass easily, due to the Democrat majority.
Last week, Republicans agreed to fast-track the process by allowing Democrats to pass the debt limit with a simple majority vote, instead of the 60 votes needed to avoid the filibuster in the US Senate.
The Senate voted to raise the national debt limit by $2.5 trillion and extend it into 2023. The measure now goes to the House.https://t.co/wQxas2PkYo
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 14, 2021
After the vote, the Biden administration can easily fund the government until the 2022 midterm elections. The Treasury Department already warned the government that failure to increase the limit would not allow the department to pay bills after Wednesday.
Chuck Schumer appreciated the passage of the measure, arguing Americans would now be able to breathe in peace. Likewise, he thanked Republicans for helping Democrats in fast-pacing the process just before the end of the year.
Republican senators have long opposed increasing the debt limit by stalling any congressional action using the filibuster. However, this time, 14 Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell allowed Democrats to pass the bill without the filibuster.
Democrats scolded Republicans, despite getting their help
Despite the passing of the bill before the deadline, many Democrats criticized the process altogether, arguing about wrapping it up once and for all. Democrat Senator Ron Wyden noted politicians use the process of increasing the debt limit for their political gain, asserting it is against common sense.
BREAKING: Senate OKs $2.5 trillion debt limit increase under a deal struck between party leaders, defusing a volatile issue until after next year's midterm elections. The measure now moves to the House where a vote could come as early as Tuesday night. https://t.co/y2MU8Y9wS8
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 14, 2021
Even though Republicans helped Democrats in passing the bill, Democrat senators started calling to end the filibuster.
Raphael Warnock of Georgia added the filibuster should be removed for the purposes of democracy too, just as it happened for the economy. He asserted the same sort of procedure should be adopted to pass the voting rights bill that is stalled, due to the filibuster.
After allowing Democrats to increase the debt limit last week, Mitch McConnell noted the whole process would only happen with Democrats’ votes, despite Republicans’ votes for ending the filibuster for the bill.
In addition to that, McConnell also criticized Biden’s social spending package, saying passing the bill from Congress would not only increase the debt limit, but also skyrocket inflation, which is already straining many Americans.
McConnell mentioned printing and borrowing more money would devalue the currency. Trump advised McConnell not to help Democrats in passing the debt limit; however, Senate Republicans walked against his comments.
The former president noted McConnell does not know how to win votes.