What You Need to Know
- If the plan goes through, the debt limit increase could pass Congress before Dec. 15.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have agreed on a plan to break a partisan impasse and raise the government’s debt ceiling.
“I think this is in the best interests of the country,” Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said of the deal he struck with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a procedural maneuver that would increase the debt limit with only Democratic votes.
The plan moving through the House would link a procedure to raise the debt ceiling to a bill to prevent automatic Medicare cuts. Lawmakers would then pass a separate bill to raise the debt limit by about $2 trillion to put the issue to rest until after the midterm election in November, according to an aide.
“We think that this is a perfectly appropriate way to handle this,” Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, said.
If the plan goes through, the debt limit increase could pass Congress before Dec. 15, the date after which the Treasury said the government may run short of authority to pay its bills.
The maneuver involves a bit of procedural gimmickry. The bill coming before the House this week would need 10 Republican votes in the Senate to advance, but does not itself raise the debt limit.
Instead it sets up a process whereby a separate bill introduced before the end of the year aimed at raising the debt ceiling cannot be filibustered in the Senate. That second bill could be passed with just Democratic votes.