KIOSBlue 2880x210.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Congress votes to raise the debt ceiling, punting the next fight to 2023

Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, avoiding default and another standoff on the borrowing limit until after the 2022 midterm elections.
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Congress has voted to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, avoiding default and another standoff on the borrowing limit until after the 2022 midterm elections.

The House voted 221 to 209 early Wednesday morning to increase the federal borrowing limit by $2.5 trillion, a figure Democrats say will allow the government to avoid default until early 2023.

The measure, which was approved almost entirely along party lines, means Congress will likely avoid any major debt limit debates until after the 2022 midterm elections. Whichever party controls Congress after the midterms will have to determine how to address the issue or face the threat of federal default.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois was the lone Republican to vote for the measure.

Congressional leaders managed to avoid such a threat this year after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reached a deal to allow a one-time-only change to Senate rules. Under that agreement, Republicans agreed to stand aside and let Democrats pass the debt limit increase without the threat of a GOP filibuster.

That measure passed the Senate Tuesday afternoon, 50-49, paving the way for the House vote.

Lawmakers are in the midst of a year-end dash to pass a long list of bills that were stalled for months over partisan bickering. The two parties reached agreements on regular government funding, the debt limit and an authorization bill for the Department of Defense.

Democrats also hope to pass President Joe Biden's roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better legislation before the monthly child tax credit program expires at the end of the year.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Kelsey Snell is a Congressional correspondent for NPR. She has covered Congress since 2010 for outlets including The Washington Post, Politico and National Journal. She has covered elections and Congress with a reporting specialty in budget, tax and economic policy. She has a graduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and an undergraduate degree in political science from DePaul University in Chicago.