Crunch deal to raise US debt ceiling passes through House of Representatives

A crunch deal to raise the US debt ceiling has been voted through by the House of Representatives.

The agreement – which aims to avert a potentially catastrophic scenario where the US defaults on its national debts – passed through the Republican-majority House by 314 to 117 votes.

The proposal will now move to the Senate. The Senate’s majority leader, Chuck Schumer, has vowed to move quickly to pass the bill.

It needs to be on President Joe Biden’s desk by Monday’s deadline – the point at which the US federal government is expected to run out of money to pay its bills.

“This agreement is good news for the American people and the American economy,” 

Mr Biden said after the vote.

“I urge the Senate to pass it as quickly as possible so that I can sign it into law.”

What is the debt limit – and why does it matter?

The main aim of the deal is to increase the US debt limit from $31.4trn – which it achieves by suspending the borrowing limit until January 2025 rather than setting a new level.

It also averts a situation where the US defaults on its national debts – a scenario that would have huge impacts both for the US and the wider world economy.

US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen previously warned that without a deal to suspend the debt ceiling, the US would not have enough money to meet all of its financial obligations by 5 June.

That would mean civil servant wages, social welfare payments, and health insurance would go unpaid.


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