The house voted to approve a bill that would suspend the federal debt ceiling and avoid a looming government shutdown Tuesday night. The video above shows some of the debate, as well as the results of the vote.
The potential shutdown is set for the end of the month. The spending bill, unveiled earlier in the day Tuesday, would keep the government funded through Dec. 3 and extend the government’s borrowing authority through the end of 2022.
The Treasury Department warned it will soon run out of cash on hand. It would then have to rely on incoming receipts to pay U.S. debt, now at $28.4 trillion. That could force the Treasury to delay or miss payments.
“Doing so would likely precipitate a historic financial crisis,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote in The Wall Street Journal.
In addition to funding the government and suspending the debt ceiling, the bill includes $28.6 billion in disaster relief for the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and other extreme weather events, as well as $6.3 billion to support Afghanistan evacuees in the fallout of the U.S. withdrawing its troops.
Despite passing in the House, the bill is expected to run into problems in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats will be hard-pressed to find 10 Republicans to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to overcome a filibuster.
“The plan B (on the debt ceiling) is there’s no plan B. You’ve got to pay your bills. This isn’t acquired debt. This is about paying your bills now,” Sen. John Tester said. “Everybody I serve with understands that this could be catastrophic if we don’t if we don’t pass the debt limit bill.”
Tuesday’s vote comes amid a push from the White House and most Democrats to pass President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion “build back better” plan. Sen. Mitch McConnell said because of this, he does not support a bill that would suspend the debt ceiling.
“Since Democrats decided to go it alone, they will not get Senate Republicans’ help with raising the debt limit,” Sen. McConnell said Monday. “I’ve explained this clearly and consistently for over two months.”