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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Congress sends $2.5T loan limit increase to Biden while avoiding default

BRIAN SLODYSKO . By

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress averted a catastrophic loan default on Wednesday morning when Democratic majority in both houses voted to send President Joe Biden a $2.5 trillion increase in the nation’s lending authority over lockstep Republican protests.

Capping a marathon day, the House gave final approval to the legislation on Wednesday morning in a near-party-line 221-209 vote, deferring a volatile issue until after the 2022 midterm elections. The action came just hours away from a deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who warned last month that she was running out of maneuvering room to avoid the nation’s first lapse.

“The full faith and credit of the United States should never be questioned,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the House floor shortly before the vote.

Yet the bill — which garnered only one Republican vote in the House from Illinois Representative Adam Kizinger — also saddled weak Democrats with a tough vote at the end of an election year when both chambers would be up for grabs.

Meanwhile, Republicans said they were surprised by Democrats’ scramble to act.

“Democrats have known this day is coming for two years and absolutely did nothing,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

Despite being a simple name, the country’s debt limit is too low to reduce future debt. Established in 1917, it instead serves as a brake on decisions already supported by Republicans and Democrats – in some cases decades earlier – that if left unpaid could cripple the market, sending the economy into a tailspin. and shake global trust in America.

That hasn’t stopped the Republican saber-rattling. For months, he has used the debt cap to attack the Democrats’ big-spending social and environmental agenda, while vehemently pledging to oppose the current effort to raise the limit. As recently as October, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he “will not be a party to any future effort to minimize the consequences of democratic mismanagement.”

Yet McConnell softened his opposition, striking a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last week, creating a solution that would allow Senate Democrats to approve legislation with a simple majority while avoiding Republican filibuster Gave.

“It’s about paying off the debt both parties have accumulated,” Schumer, D.N.Y., said Tuesday, applauding the agreement.

McConnell’s retreat angered some in his party. But it also gave him what he wanted: Democrats took the politically difficult vote without Republican support, while raising the threshold of a staggering dollar figure that is sure to appear in future attack ads.

“If they jam through another tax and spending bill this massive debt increase will be just the beginning,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday.

The decision did not sit well with Donald Trump.

The former president repeatedly railed against the deal, calling McConnell a “Broken Old Crow” who “didn’t have the guts to play the debt ceiling card that would have given Republicans an outright victory over almost everything.”

“Get rid of Mitch!” Trump said in a statement released on Sunday.

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah also criticized the complicated process agreed to by Schumer and McConnell, which he warned could be used to “cheat” potentially unpopular votes in the future.

Under the agreement, an unrelated Medicare bill was amended that passed with Republican votes last week. This created a one-time, fast-track process to raise the debt limit that allowed Democrats to do so with a simple majority, bypassing the 60-vote limit to avoid a GOP filibuster.

Lee said the process was intended to make the Republican vote last week appear “as something other than helping Democrats raise the debt threshold,” which he said the Republican leadership was “committed, no less in writing, to doing.” not to do.”

Yet Republican arguments against raising the debt limit often overlook inconvenient facts.

The current debt burden of $28.9 trillion on the country has been increasing for decades. Key drivers include popular spending programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, interest on loans and the recent COVID-19 relief package. But taxation is also a major factor, and a series of tax cuts enacted by Republican presidents in recent decades have added to it as well.

This includes the $7.8 trillion piled on the pile during Trump’s four-year presidency, an analysis of Treasury records shows. The GOP-champion 2017 tax cut is projected to add between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in debt, according to the Center for Nonpartisan Tax Policy.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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