House considering new debt limit vote Tuesday
House Democrats are considering holding a vote Tuesday on a stand-alone bill to lift the debt ceiling, after Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a bill that included both a debt-limit suspension and government funding.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters that action on a clean debt-limit bill is “among our plans.”
The debt limit was reinstated in August, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday that lawmakers need to raise or suspend the limit by Oct. 18 in order to prevent the federal government from defaulting.
House Democrats last week passed a bill to suspend the debt limit through Dec. 16, 2022 and fund federal agencies through Dec. 3 of this year. But Senate Republicans blocked the measure because they want Democrats to act on their own to raise the debt ceiling through the budget reconciliation process that only requires a simple majority vote in the Senate.
Republicans are objecting to raising the debt ceiling because they dislike the $3.5 trillion social spending package that Democrats are seeking to pass through reconciliation. But Democrats note that most of the federal debt predates President Biden taking office.
“It’s about paying past bills,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi also said while Congress needs to raise the debt limit now, House Democrats are also looking at different ways to address the debt limit in the future.
She said that Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) has suggested to put the responsibility of raising the debt limit on the Treasury secretary, with Congress having the authority to reject an increase. Pelosi also said that Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) has suggested that the federal government issue a $1 trillion coin that could be used to pay the government’s bills.