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House passes debt limit bill

The U.S. House Committee on Rules holds a hearing about the United States' debt ceiling.

The U.S. House Committee on Rules holds a hearing about the United States' debt ceiling.


The US House of Representatives on Wednesday night passed a bipartisan debt limit bill to avoid a government default. And after all the drama, it wasn’t even that close: 314 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, while 117 opposed it. Interestingly, more Dems (165) backed the measure negotiated by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy with the White House than Republicans (149).

It’ll now go to the Senate for a vote before Monday, when the US Treasury has warned that the government will run out of money to pay back its debt.

To be sure, many lawmakers – on both the right and left – didn’t get what they wanted. But while some progressive Dems spoke out against the bill’s provisions that they say benefit the wealthy and ramp up work requirements for recipients of food aid, they stopped short of criticizing the Biden administration, instead placing blame for the bill’s shortcomings squarely on the GOP.

Republicans, however, have been at loggerheads in recent days, with members of the far-right Freedom Caucus panning McCarthy for giving too much to the Dems, and at least one calling for his ousting. Indeed, it was a blow for the House speaker that he didn’t even have enough votes from within his own caucus to pass a procedural step earlier in the day needed to advance the bill. He had to rely on Dem votes to push it forward.

So what now? Markets will likely respond well to the news. But anti-McCarthy Republicans are seething and have warned of a “reckoning to come.”


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