- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Congressional Democrats on Tuesday moved to unilaterally raise the federal debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion. 

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the borrowing-limit increase is needed to ensure the federal government can continue paying its debts into early 2023.

“Responsible governing has won on this exceedingly important issue,” said Mr. Schumer, New York Democrat. “The American people can breathe easy and rest assured there will not be a default.”

The Senate is expected to vote on a resolution hiking the debt ceiling, a federally imposed limit on how much the U.S. can borrow to meet its expenditures, as early as Tuesday. Afterward, the House will take up the bill and pass it as well. 

Generally, raising the debt ceiling requires at least 60 votes to overcome the Senate’s filibuster rules. 

Mr. Schumer said the measure will need only a simple majority in the evenly split chambers this time. That’s because Congress passed legislation last week creating a one-time, fast-track process for hiking the borrowing limit. 

Under the process, which was backed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and 13 other Republicans, Senate Democrats can raise the debt limit one time with 51 votes, including Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote. Senate debate will be limited to 10 hours. 

“Today, every Senate Democrat is going to vote on party lines to raise our nation’s debt limit by trillions of dollars,” Mr. McConnell said. “If they jam through another reckless taxing-and-spending spree, this massive debt increase will just be the beginning.” 

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that the federal government will be at risk of defaulting on its debts if an increase to the debt ceiling is not passed by Dec. 15.

• Haris Alic can be reached at halic@washingtontimes.com.

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