Debt ceiling bill advances to House vote as GOP backs down

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(Bloomberg) – The House will vote on stand-alone legislation Wednesday to suspend the federal debt limit until December 2022, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, but the bill is not expected to go anywhere in the Senate in the face of strong republican opposition.

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Pelosi said in a message to House Democrats that the House would “move forward to honor its responsibility to protect the US economy and US families from the disaster of a default by passing legislation to suspend the limit on the debt “.

While Democrats can use their majority to get him through the House, the 50-50 Senate Republicans were unlikely to allow him to move forward.

“I hope they take this second chance to do the right thing” and “to avoid a total economic collapse,” Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said of Senate Republicans .

Top Republican on the panel, Tom Cole of Oklahoma, said Republicans will not help Democrats raise the debt ceiling “as long as this majority insists on spending money like drunken sailors on leave. down “.

“They and they alone must act,” added Cole.

McGovern responded that it is clear Democrats will have to act on their own.

“The question is, why doesn’t the Republican in the Senate allow a clear vote up or down? McGovern asked, adding that using a procedural barrier in this chamber to allow even a simple vote doesn’t make sense to him.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that a default looms October 18 without action from Congress. But Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have twice blocked attempts to raise or suspend the debt ceiling. They are pushing Democrats to use the same fast-track budget process to raise the debt ceiling without GOP support that they plan to use for the tax and spending measure that encompasses much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

(Updates with expected vote from the first paragraph)

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