U.S. Capitol in Washington (May 30)
Photo: Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS
The U.S. has taken an important step forward in averting a default – a few days before the dreaded "Day X". The hard-won compromise in the debt dispute between the U.S. government and the Republicans took a first hurdle on Tuesday.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives Rules Committee voted seven to six to submit the bill suspending the current $31.4 trillion debt ceiling to the full House of Congress for a vote on Wednesday.
Some of the arch-conservatives among the 13 members of the committee had previously announced that they wanted to torpedo the bill. In the U.S., there is no compulsion to form a political group. The members of the right-wing group House Freedom Caucus had opposed the compromise. They are demanding greater spending cuts.
"I'm going to kill this bill however I can," said Republican Ralph Norman. His colleague Chip Roy had blatantly insulted the design as a "turd sandwich". A third conservative, Thomas Massie, had hinted at a possible approval on Twitter on Monday.
Now the Senate is also to deal with the bill, which could possibly take until the weekend. In the House of Representatives, the Republicans have a majority, Biden's Democrats control the Senate.
At the beginning of June, insolvency is imminent
Here, 60 of the 100 senators must vote in favor of the agreement. This means that at least nine Republicans must be in favor. Due to various rules, senators could drag out the procedure. Changes to the bill in the Senate would also mean delay, because then the House of Representatives would have to give its blessing again.
If both chambers have adopted the draft in identical form, it is submitted to the President for signature and then enters into force. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of insolvency if the bill is not passed by Monday.
Speed is now crucial. According to the U.S. Treasury, the money will only last until June 5, before the threat of insolvency.