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Senate passes debt limit fast-track plan as lawmakers race to prevent default

The Senate voted on Thursday to pass a bill that would create a fast-track process that would allow Democrats to raise the federal debt limit without a vote from Republicans, a major next step. Follows as lawmakers race the clock to prevent a catastrophic default. Bankruptcy would never cause financial disaster and Finance Minister Janet Yellen has warned the debt limit could be reached by December 15, leaving little time to act. Party leaders on both sides of the aisle have made it clear that default must be prevented, but Republicans insist that Democrats should hold themselves accountable for raising the limit. passed separate legislation to increase the debt limit to a specific amount by 51 votes using the newly created fast track process. “We still have some more steps to take before we fully resolve this issue, but I’m optimistic that after today’s vote. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has reached an agreement. to create a temporary, one-time process that would allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling alone on their votes suggests they would support the rapid debt-limiting plan, but McConnell has also faced with opposition from some frustrated Republican lawmakers who feel the plan still helps their party help Democrats lift the debt limit even if it opens the way for Democrats to finally act. alone in the Senate Thursday was a secret ballot to disrupt a GOP vote, which needed 60 votes to succeed.The vote count was 64-36 and 14 Senate Republicans passed crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats, who controlled only 50 seats in the room.The language to create a fast-track process was packaged like part of a more popular bill aimed at halting cuts to Medicare, potentially making it easier to round up the vote. “We’re going to vote on Thursday, and I believe this particular procedure along with avoiding a Medicare cut will gain enough Republican support to cross the 60-vote threshold,” said McConnell, a party member. Kentucky’s Republican Party said at a Senate press conference later that it had cast its final vote on Thursday night to pass the new fast-track plan. Lawmakers approved a short-term debt extension in December after Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to avert economic disaster after weeks of partisan stalemate on the issue. the process is known as a budget adjustment. Democrats rejected that idea, arguing that the issue was a bipartisan responsibility and that the process would be too long and unwieldy, making the risk of miscalculation too high. Still, Republicans stood firm and continued to resist pressure from Republicans to pursue a debt limit settlement through a lengthy mediation process in the weeks that followed. prevent defaults with Democrats. . That’s exactly where we’ll end up,” he said on Tuesday. I think this is in the best interest of the country by avoiding default. I think it’s also in the best interest of the Republican Party,” McConnell said. “I believe we have reached a resolution to the debt ceiling that is consistent with the Republican position on raising the debt ceiling for this money at this particular time and allow the Democrats to proudly own it, which they are happy to do.” Story and title were updated with additional developments on Thursday.

The Senate voted on Thursday to pass a bill that would create a fast-track process that would allow Democrats to raise the federal debt limit without a vote from Republicans, a major next step. Follows as lawmakers race the clock to prevent a catastrophic default.

A first-time default would spell financial disaster and Finance Minister Janet Yellen has warned the debt limit could be reached on December 15, leaving little time to act. Party leaders on both sides of the aisle have made it clear that default must be prevented, but Republicans insist that Democrats should raise the limit on their own.

Passage of the bill would pave the way for Senate Democrats to absorb and pass separate legislation to increase the debt limit to a specific amount by 51 votes using the newly created fast-track process. out.

“We still have a few more steps to take before we fully resolve this issue, but I’m optimistic that after today’s vote, we’ll be on a gentler path to avoid a catastrophic default.” , Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in comments on the floor earlier on Thursday.

Although Republicans and Democrats have sparred over how to avert the looming debt-limiting crisis in recent months, Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have reached an agreement to create interim, one-time process that would allow Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their votes. .

Some Republicans in the Senate have signaled that they will support the rapid debt limit plan. But McConnell has also faced opposition from some frustrated Republican lawmakers who feel the plan still helps their party help Democrats lift the debt limit even as it opens the way for Democrats ultimately act alone.

How the action plays out in the Senate

The first vote to take place in the Senate on Thursday was a snap vote to circumvent a GOP vote, which needed 60 votes to succeed. The vote count was 64 to 36 and 14 Republicans in the Senate crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats, who controlled just 50 seats in the room.

McConnell predicted earlier in the week that there would be enough GOP votes to cross that threshold. Language to create a fast-track process has been packaged as part of a more popular bill aimed at halting cuts to Medicare, potentially making rounding votes easier.

“We’re going to vote on Thursday, and I believe this particular procedure along with avoiding a Medicare cut will gain enough Republican support to cross the 60-vote threshold,” said McConnell, a party member. Kentucky Republican, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The Senate then held a final vote on Thursday night to pass the new fast-track plan.

How debt limit agreements come together

Congress has struggled to find a way around the debt limit for the past few months.

In October, lawmakers approved a short-term debt extension to December after Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to avert economic disaster after weeks of partisan stalemate on the issue. .

The extension was approved after Republicans first argued that Democrats should act alone to address the debt limit through a process known as budgetary reconciliation. Democrats rejected that idea, arguing that the issue was a bipartisan responsibility and that the process would be too long and unwieldy, making the risk of miscalculation too high.

But McConnell alert Biden in October in a letter that Democrats should not expect Republicans to help again.

However, Democrats stood firm and continued to resist pressure from Republicans to pursue resolving the debt limit through a time-consuming mediation process in the weeks that followed.

Earlier this week, McConnell dismissed the idea that by brokering a new deal to prevent default with Democrats, he reversed his earlier position that Republicans would doesn’t help Democrats solve this problem.

“The red line is intact. The red line is you have a simple majority, partisan vote on the debt ceiling. That’s exactly where we’re going to end up,” he said on Tuesday.

“I think it’s in the best interest of the country by avoiding default,” McConnell said. “I think it’s also in the best interest of the Republican Party.” “I believe we have reached a resolution to the debt ceiling that is consistent with the Republican position of raising the debt ceiling for this amount at this particular time and allowing the Democrats to proudly own the debt. own it, which they are happy to do.”

This story and title was updated with additional developments on Thursday.

https://www.kcra.com/article/senate-debt-limit-fast-track-plan/38470710 Senate passes debt limit fast-track plan as lawmakers race to prevent default

JOE HERNANDEZ

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