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House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill

This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed (by a vote of 285-144) legislation that would temporarily suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, 2013.  (A copy of the recorded vote is available here.)  As previously reported, the U.S. hit its debt limit at the end of the 2012 and Treasury Secretary Geithner was utilizing “extraordinary measures” to avoid default on the nation’s obligations.  (For more information click here.)

Under the legislation (H.R. 325) the debt ceiling would be suspended until May 19, 2013.  In addition, as of April 15, 2013 Members of Congress would have their paychecks suspended until their House of Congress passes a budget resolution.  In other words, if by April 16th the House of Representatives passes a budget, but the Senate does not, then House members will receive their paychecks, but Senators will not (until such time as they pass a budget or until the last day of the 113th Congress).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated the Senate will pass the legislation.  In its Statement of Administrative Policy (available here) the White House indicated that it will not oppose the legislation, but urged Congress to enact a long-term solution to the “self-inflicted fiscal crisis.”  A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the legislation is available here.

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