The United States Lower House approved this Wednesday at midnight a bill to suspend the ceiling on public debthours before the country defaults on its sovereign debt.
The measure expands funds by $ 2.5 trillion to deal with debts already incurred, which It will allow the US to maintain its borrowing capacity until 2023.
The project, which was approved in the House of Representatives with 221 votes in favor and 209 against after being authorized hours before by the Senate, it is now ready to be signed by US President Joe Biden and put into effect.
The law prevents the US from defaulting on its sovereign debt this December 15, when the country is expected to run out of funds to pay its debts, according to the latest calculations by the Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen.
The path for this bill to get the green light was especially tricky in the Senate, where the vote was 50 votes in favor and 49 against.
Normally, any bill needs 60 votes to pass in the Senate.
But nevertheless, the measure received the go-ahead with only 50 votes from Democrats thanks to an agreement they reached last week the leader of the Progressives in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, and his Republican rival, Mitch McConnell.
Both of them they changed the Senate rules in a timely manner so that the debt ceiling could be suspended Only with the votes of the Democrats and without the support of the Republicans, since the conservatives have been resoundingly opposed to supporting any measure in this regard for months.
What’s more, the far-right wing of the party has been especially combative on that issue and former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) has come to question McConnell’s leadership.
In a series of statements this weekend, Trump criticized McConnell for not having “the guts to play the debt ceiling card,” which in his opinion would have hurt his successor in the Presidency, Democrat Joe Biden, and would have given the Republicans a “complete victory in practically everything”.
For its part, Yellen has warned that the non-payment of the debt could have very negative consequences not just for the US economy, but for the rest of the world.
Once passed in both houses, the measure represents a great victory for Democrats, because By suspending the debt ceiling until 2023, they will not have to touch on that controversial issue again until after the legislative elections. set for November 2022.
The United States has never had to declare suspension of payments on its national debt, but was very close in 2011, when the mere possibility of that happening unleashed chaos in the financial markets and caused Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s solvency note.
From time to time, the United States appears to default on the national debt, because unlike other countries, the United States government can only issue debt up to the limit established by Congress, which has the power to raise that ceiling as it sees fit.
Currently the US federal debt exceeds $ 28 trillion.
(With information from EFE)
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