On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed legislation by a vote of 222-212 that kicks off a multi-step process to lift the nation’s debt limit with a simple majority should the bill pass the US Senate.
Politico reports that the Senate could start voting on this as soon as Thursday. According to The Associated Press, this bill outlines an agreement between both major parties to put a provision that fast-tracks the debt limit process into an unrelated Medicare bill and, should that bill become law, it will “open the process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling through subsequent legislation with a Democrats’ only majority vote.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both urged their respective party members on Tuesday to pass it and McConnell said at least 10 Republicans would support the measure.
The US government has about $29 trillion in outstanding debt subject to the limit, The Washington Post reports, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US would default on its debt unless the ceiling is raised by the December 15 deadline.
The deal was negotiated with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and circumvents the filibuster.