Congress passes debt limit hike in party-line votes

Lawmakers are once again fighting over the federal debt ceiling in an effort to prevent a government shutdown.

Reports this week confirmed that both houses of Congress voted to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit.

“Republicans and Democrats came together”

The measure passed in the Senate by a bare 50-49 majority on Tuesday after GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) backed away from a threat to force Democrats into raising the limit on their own.

Just one House Republican — Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — voted along with Democrats in support of hiking the debt limit by $2.5 trillion.

Although all Senate Democrats voted against it, Democrats received some help from the GOP last week when 13 Republicans voted for a one-time exception to the filibuster allowing Democrats to move forward with a simple majority.

For his part, former President Donald Trump weighed in to criticize McConnell for potentially giving away leverage needed to stop President Joe Biden’s domestic spending agenda.

Even Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) acknowledged the role of Republicans when the partisan measure passed, asserting: “This is about paying debt accumulated by both parties, so I’m pleased Republicans and Democrats came together.”

“Would have given the Republicans a complete victory”

Although McConnell arguably set the stage for its outcome, McConnell railed against his colleagues across the aisle prior to Tuesday’s vote.

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

The approved resolution should settle the issue until after next year’s midterm elections, after which there is sure to be yet another political fight over the debt limit.

McConnell is also facing criticism from within his own party on other issues, including his support for funding the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the United States.

Trump is among the GOP leader’s most outspoken critics, arguing in a statement this week that McConnell should be voted out of power and “didn’t have the guts to play the Debt Ceiling card, which would have given the Republicans a complete victory on virtually everything.”

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