House Passes Defense Bill, Moves To Lift Debt Ceiling After Bipartisan Agreement

The Daily Caller

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The House late Tuesday passed a conferenced version of the National Defense Authorization Act and a bill that could clear a path for the Senate to skirt a filibuster and enable Democrats to raise the debt ceiling on their own.

The annual defense bill and debt ceiling increase were two issues that had hamstrung Congress for weeks, with efforts to move the NDAA falling victim to objections over amendments while Republicans continued to insist that Democrats raise the debt ceiling on their own via reconciliation. However, that abruptly changed Tuesday after Senate leadership struck a deal allowing Democrats to lift the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, potentially averting a default that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said could arrive as soon as Dec. 15.

“We were worried about a process that will be convoluted, lengthy and risky,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said during his weekly presser Tuesday. “And we don’t believe we should be doing anything that risks putting our full faith and credit in jeopardy. It looks like the Republicans will help us.”

Under the agreement, Congress would pass a law allowing a debt ceiling increase to pass the Senate with a simple majority this one time, avoiding a filibuster and Republicans who have long insisted that they would not support an increase. The deal was attached to a bill to prevent cuts to Medicare from taking effect, which was what passed the House Tuesday night on a 221-212 vote and is set to be taken up by the Senate Thursday.

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