Business & Economy

US Senate approves debt ceiling extension until December

Washington, Oct 7 (EFE).- The United States Senate approved Thursday the debt ceiling suspension until December to prevent the country from defaulting on its national debt payments as of Oct. 18.

Democrats approved by a 50 to 48 vote the suspension of the debt ceiling after the Republican opposition refused to collaborate with President Joe Biden’s government, putting the country’s solvency and financial market stability at risk.

The bill now goes to the lower house, whose Democratic majority must approve it before the end of next week.

Thursday’s vote in the Senate came after the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, agreed hours before to renounce the parliamentary mechanism that requires a supermajority, allowing Democrats to approve the measure alone.

McConnell’s decision infuriated a large section of Republicans, who had been pressuring Democrats for weeks with the US economy on the brink.

The pact McConnell agreed to only allows suspending the debt ceiling until Dec. 3, so the United States may find itself in the same situation two months from now.

The deal sparked a tepid response from the White House, which had been insisting for days that the longer-term debt ceiling needed to be suspended and would now have to settle for a temporary solution.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned on several occasions that the United States could incur in a national debt payments suspension on Oct. 18 for the first time in its history.

The incident could have unleashed chaos in the financial markets and lowered the US’ credit rating.

The debt ceiling crisis occurs because, unlike other countries, the US government can only issue debt up to the limit established by Congress, which has the power to raise that ceiling as it sees fit. EFE


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