Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will return from recess on Tuesday to vote on the newly passed Senate bill that suspends the debt ceiling through December.
The Senate voted 50-48 on Thursday to extend the debt ceiling, the legal limit on how much outstanding debt the federal government can hold, through December 3. The deal came after a weeks-long partisan stalemate over the issue, and now the House must approve the extension.
Hoyer announced the meeting shortly after the Senate vote, saying the House will convene to pass the stopgap measure and expected the decision would likely come the same night.
“It is egregious that our nation has been put in this spot, but we must take immediate action to address the debt limit and ensure the full faith and credit of the United States remains intact,” he said in a statement.
Hoyer added that Senate Republicans‘ refusal to advance the House-passed legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit “put the United States’ full faith and credit at risk.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also told Hoyer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that if the House is unable to reach a vote next week, the country will be unable to pay its bills, according to the news release. Hoyer said, “This cannot happen.”
News of the deal between Democrats and Republicans was announced Thursday morning by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, with the final vote expected to take place later in the evening. Prior to the vote, the Senate agreed to waive the filibuster which paved way for the Democrats to pass the bill along party lines.
If the deal is passed by the House, the debt ceiling will temporarily be raised to $480 billion—which is the same figure the Treasury Department reported needing to make it to December.
“President Biden looks forward to signing this bill as soon as it passes the House and reaches his desk,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “His focus remains on the task before us of swiftly passing his economic agenda and making vital investments in jobs, competitiveness, and lower prices for the middle class.”
Prior to Schumer’s announcement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement of his own offering a short-term extension that would allow both parties to reach an agreement.
Democrats and Republicans agree that the nation cannot default on its debt but have differed in how to solve the problem.
While Republicans believe that Democrats should address the debt ceiling through budget reconciliation, Democrats argue that the process is too time-consuming and that it should be a bipartisan responsibility.
“Eleven Republicans did their part tonight, ending the filibuster and allowing Democrats to do the work of raising the debt limit. As we approach the coming months, we hope that even more Republicans will join Democrats in responsibly addressing the debt limit instead of choosing default or obstruction,” Psaki said. “We cannot allow partisan politics to hold our economy hostage, and we can’t allow the routine process of paying our bills to turn into a confidence-shaking political showdown every two years or every two months.”
If the House does vote to pass the bill, it is only a temporary fix to the problem. While it prevented a default from occurring this month, the December default date is an estimated timeline, not a set date.
McConnell has said that the agreement gives Democrats more time to raise the debt limit themselves while members of the party remain averse to the process.