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“The full faith and credit of the United States should never be questioned.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on voting to raise the debt ceiling - a key limit of what the government can borrow to pay bills.

Published on

dec 15, 2021

  • Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling early Wednesday morning. That means the government's "borrowing authority" increases by $2.5 trillion.
  • The Associated Press presents some good context: "Established in 1917, (the debt ceiling) serves as a brake on spending decisions already endorsed by Republicans and Democrats alike — in some cases decades ago — that if left unpaid could cripple markets, send the economy into a tailspin and shake global confidence in the U.S."
  • The vote over the debt ceiling was mostly along party lines - with few Republicans joining Democrats to vote for the increase. The debt limit increase was needed before Democrats attempt to pass a large social spending bill that increases government spending.
  • The nation's current debt is around $29 trillion, but rising every day due to decisions from both parties - regardless of any new legislation passed.
  • Why It Matters: By raising the debt ceiling, Congress avoids a U.S. government default with only hours to spare before it would have hit a deadline. A default would have sent shockwaves around the world, and raised questions about the financial stability of the U.S. government.

House passes debt ceiling increase, sending it to Biden to avoid default hours before deadline

Congress sends Biden $2.5T debt limit hike, avoiding default

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