Updated Dec 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House approves one-time, fast track process to raise debt limit

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill, 222-212, that would allow Senate Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own in an expedited process.

Why it matters: The move helps Congress avoid a messy and arduous process and clears the way for the Senate — which will still need to pass the bill — to raise the debt ceiling before Dec. 15, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the U.S. will default on its debts.

The details: The bill will allow the Senate to pass a bill raising the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, rather than the usual 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, allowing Democrats to pass it without Republican support.

  • The expedited process would only apply once.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) was the lone Republican to vote for the bill in the House.

What's next: The bill creating an expedited process still needs 60 Senate votes to pass the chamber, where GOP leaders have expressed confidence that at least 10 of their members will join Democrats in voting for cloture.

Go deeper: Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Editor's note: This story was inadvertently published prior to the vote.

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