The Obama administration welcomed the key passage of a bill through the House of Representative on Wednesday to temporarily suspend the nation’s debt ceiling.
White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated the Obama administration would have preferred a longer extension to dodge these lingering issues in the near future. But the president would likely “not stand in the way” of the short-term fix.
In a 285-144 vote, the GOP controlled House of Representatives elected to authorize a suspension of borrowing limit until May 19 – effectively pushing back the next debt ceiling showdown for another few months. The measure says the debt limit “shall not apply” during that period, therefore allowing the Treasury to continue to pay the country’s bills incurred until that date.
“With the passage of this bill today it’s pretty clear that we’re sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate it’s time to do your job. It’s as simple as, the principle I think is pretty simple: No budget, no pay,” House Speaker John Boehner said following the passage of the No Budget, No Pay Act. “Listen, American families have to do a budget, they understand you can’t continue to spend money that you don’t have.”
GOP lawmakers adopted the new slogan in debt ceiling dealings to call attention to the Senate’s failure to pass a budget, and shift attention off themselves.
The vote mostly fell along party lines, with many Democrats voting against it because of the bill’s temporary nature. Looking to revamp its negative image as the source of Washington’s gridlock, House Republicans pulled a 180 on their willingness to even address the debt ceiling without spending cuts, pushing back the fight to another day.
“The bill represents a huge de-escalation on the debt ceiling issue, it hands the president his second major win in a month, and it shows that Republicans are in full on retreat on fiscal policy,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, claiming victory for the Dems.
The bill now heads to the Senate, and Majority Leader Harry Reid said it will pass quickly.