The United States Senate approved a bill on Tuesday to suspend the debt ceiling, hours before the country defaults on its sovereign debt.
The measure expands funds by $ 2.5 trillion to deal with debts already incurred, which will allow the US to maintain its borrowing capacity until 2023.
The bill was approved in the Senate with 50 votes in favor and 49 against and now it will have to be voted in the Lower House to later receive the signature of the US president, Joe Biden, and enter into force.
The law will prevent the US from defaulting on its sovereign debt tomorrow, December 15, when the country is expected to run out of funds to pay its debts, according to the latest calculations by the Secretary of the Treasury. , Janet Yellen.
Normally, any bill needs 60 votes to pass in the Senate.
However, the measure received the go-ahead with only 50 votes from Democrats thanks to an agreement reached last week by the leader of the progressives in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, and his Republican rival, Mitch McConnell.
Both changed the Senate rules in a timely manner so that the debt ceiling could be suspended solely with the votes of the Democrats and without the support of the Republicans since the conservatives have been resoundingly opposed to supporting any measure in this regard for months.
In addition, the far-right wing of the party has been especially combative on this issue and former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) has come to question McConnell’s leadership.
In a series of statements this weekend, Trump criticized McConnell for not having “the guts to play the debt ceiling card,” which he believed would have hurt his successor in the Presidency, Democrat Joe Biden, and it would have given the Republicans a “complete victory in just about everything.”
The Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, has warned that the non-payment of the debt could have very negative consequences not only for the US economy but for the rest of the world.
If definitively approved, the measure would represent a great victory for Democrats, because by suspending the debt ceiling until 2023, they would not have to touch on that controversial issue again until after the legislative elections set for November 2022.
The United States has never had to declare the suspension of payments on its national debt, but it was very close in 2011 when the mere possibility of that happening unleashed chaos in the financial markets and caused Standard & Poor’s to lower the country’s solvency note.
From time to time, the United States appears to default on the national debt, because, unlike other countries, the United States government can only issue debt up to the limit established by Congress, which has the power to raise that ceiling as it sees fit.
Currently, the federal debt of the United States exceeds 28 trillion dollars.