House sends debt limit hike to US Prez Biden

Washington DC: Members of the House on Tuesday pushed through a short-term increase to the nation's debt limit, ensuring the federal government can continue fully paying its bills into December and temporarily averting an unprecedented default that would have decimated the economy.

The USD480 billion increase in the country's borrowing ceiling cleared the Senate last week on a party-line vote.

The House approved it swiftly so President Joe Biden can sign it into law this week.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had warned that steps to stave off a default on the country's debts would be exhausted by Monday, and from that point, the department would soon be unable to fully meet the government's financial obligations.

A default would have immense fallout on global financial markets built upon the bedrock safety of US government debt. Routine government payments to Social Security beneficiaries, disabled veterans and active-duty military personnel would also be called into question.

The relief provided by passage of the legislation will only be temporary though, forcing Congress to revisit the issue in December -- a time when lawmakers will also be labouring to complete federal spending bills and avoid a damaging government shutdown.

The yearend backlog raises risks for both parties and threatens a tumultuous close to Biden's first year in office.

I'm glad that this at least allows us to prevent a totally self-made and utterly preventable economic catastrophe as we work on a longer-term plan, said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

Republicans signalled the next debt limit debate won't be any easier and warned Democrats not to expect their help.

Next Story
Share it