The House on Wednesday voted 219-212 to suspend the nation’s debt limit until December 2022, with just weeks to go before the country is expected to reach its borrowing limit.
Two Democrats – Rep. Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Rep. Jared Golden of Maine – joined Republicans in voting against the bill. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois was the only Republican to vote with Democrats for the bill.
This bill now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to fail. The bill would need 60 votes to advance in the chamber that is split 50-50. Republicans have said they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling, and have called on Democrats to pass the legislation through the budget reconciliation process that only requires 50 votes.
Democrats have been resisting GOP calls to go this route over concerns about the unwieldy process on the floor that could open them to a flurry of politically charged amendments on the Senate floor. Democrats argue it would take too long to go through that process and stave off default, though Republicans disagree.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went further Wednesday, making clear she does not plan to utilize that option. “Yes,” she said when asked if she’s ruled out using that process. “I mean, I have.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress this week the US would hit its debt limit by October 18.
The House passed a similar measure last week to suspend the debt limit, attaching it to a bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month. Senate Republicans blocked that measure from advancing on Monday.
Republicans have cited Democrats’ plans to pass trillions of dollars in new spending for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda for their opposition to raising the debt ceiling. Democrats are quick to point out that the GOP supported a debt limit increase under President Donald Trump and that most of the nation’s current debt was racked up under the former President.
CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.