House to vote Tuesday on debt limit hike

The House will interrupt a scheduled recess next week to vote Tuesday on Senate-passed legislation to extend the debt limit into December. 

The House, which had been long scheduled to be out of session this week and next coinciding with the Columbus Day holiday, is expected to quickly resume its recess as soon as lawmakers clear the debt limit extension Tuesday night.  

The House was otherwise scheduled to be out of session until Oct. 19, which is the day after the Treasury Department has estimated the U.S. would default on its debts if Congress hasn’t acted by then. 

“The Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] and I have both spoken with Treasury Secretary Yellen, who said that if the House fails to act next week, the country will be unable to pay its bills. This cannot happen. Therefore, the House will convene on Tuesday, October 12, to pass this stopgap measure, and I expect we will complete our work that evening,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement. 

“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,” Hoyer continued. 

Earlier Thursday, the Senate passed a short-term debt limit extension in a vote that divided Republicans who had previously vowed to oppose any measure to prevent a default because they want Democrats to use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process on their own.  

While the bill passed along party lines, 50-48, 11 Republicans voted with Democrats to overcome a procedural hurdle that required 60 votes.

The House passed legislation twice in the last few weeks to suspend the debt limit into December 2022, first as part of a government funding bill and later as a stand-alone measure. 

The debt limit suspension was removed from the government funding bill last week so that lawmakers could prevent a shutdown on Oct. 1. 

House leaders sent members off for recess last Friday, after a tense week in which Democrats postponed a planned vote on the roughly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. But with the debt limit impasse still unresolved when House members left town last week, Hoyer’s office advised that they would get 72 hours’ notice if they needed to act on legislation before their scheduled return on Oct. 19. 

Tags debt ceiling Debt limit Nancy Pelosi Steny Hoyer

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