News / USA

House Approves Temporary Extension of US Debt Limit

House Approves Short-term Suspension of US Debt Ceilingi
X
January 24, 2013 12:13 AM
The US House of Representatives voted to delay a potential debt default Wednesday by approving a bill that would allow Washington to keep borrowing to pay its expenses for the next four months. Republicans hope passage of the short term debt ceiling bill will give both parties time to reach a compromise on spending cuts. But as Mil Arcega reports some Democrats say it does nothing to fix long term fiscal issues facing the United States.

House Approves Short-term Suspension of US Debt Ceiling

Cindy Saine
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a Republican bill to suspend the legal limit on government borrowing until mid-May. If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by the president, which appears likely, it will delay a major showdown between Democratic President Barack Obama and Congress over budget and spending issues, and stave off the threat of the United States defaulting on its national debt.

In a surprise move just days after President Obama's second inauguration, House Republicans retreated from earlier demands for a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar they increase the legal limit on borrowing, and introduced a bill that would extend the debt limit until May 19.  The bill passed by a vote of 288 to 185. 

Republican House Speaker John Boehner said it is time that the White House and the Democratic-controlled Senate come up with a budget that addresses the soaring national debt.

"It is time for Congress to get serious about this, and this is first step in an effort to bring real fiscal responsibility to Washington. It is real simple: no budget, no pay," Boehner said.

House Republicans added a requirement to the temporary debt limit extension, specifying that both chambers of Congress must adopt a budget by April 15, as required by law, or have their congressional pay withheld until the start of the new Congress in 2015. 

A number of Democrats called this move a political "gimmick," and some said it is unconstitutional. A number of Democrats complained that extending the debt ceiling by less than four months did little to provide much-needed certainty to the economy.

U.S. debt ceilingU.S. debt ceiling
x
U.S. debt ceiling
U.S. debt ceiling
Democratic Congressman Sander Levin said this: "This Republican bill is not a change in policy, it’s a change in tactics. House Republicans continue to play with economic fire. They’re playing political games with the debt ceiling, and that undermines certainty."

Democratic Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called on Democrats to vote against it.

"Three months. Where is the certainty in three months? We should not even be having a debate. It should be no doubt that the full faith and credit of the United States will be honored, and that is what our Constitution says," Pelosi said.

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he plans to introduce a budget in the Senate soon anyway, and said a short-term debt ceiling extension is better than another immediate showdown with Republicans.

"But to spare the middle class another knock-down, drag-out fight, we are going to proceed work on this legislation and get it out of here as fast as we can," Reid said.

Reid said he plans to take up the bill quickly, and the White House also made clear that President Obama would not oppose the House bill. Without congressional action on the debt ceiling, the United States would not have been able to pay its bills some time around mid-February, which could have had a significant impact on the global economy.

Some Senate Democrats said House Republicans appear to be in "full retreat," just weeks after going to the brink on a series of measures known as the fiscal cliff, where both chambers of Congress passed a bill that raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans over the resistance of most House Republicans.  

Analysts say this is the first time in a long time that the House acted on a controversial budget or spending measure well ahead of the deadline, but they also point out that there are likely to be more battles to come between Democrats and Republicans over severe, across-the-board spending cuts and a vote on funding the federal government - both set to happen in March.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid