Senate Votes to Suspend Debt Ceiling
On Thursday, the Senate voted 64-34 to approve the House’s “No Budget, No Pay” Act to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19.
The bill’s title refers to a provision that would deny lawmakers their paycheck if their respective chamber fails to pass a budget by April 15th. The Democrat-led Senate has not passed a budget since 2009. Despite the bill’s name, lawmakers will still get paid even if they fail to pass a budget; the pay will merely come on the last day of the congressional session.
Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte (NH), Roy Blunt (MO), Thad Cochran (MS), Susan Collins (ME), Lindsey Graham (SC), Dean Heller (NV), John Hoeven (ND), John McCain (AZ), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Richard Shelby (AL), John Thune (SD) and Roger Wicker (MI) voted with Democrats to pass the bill. One Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) voted against the bill.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) offered House Republicans a backhanded compliment for their decision to temporarily extend the debt ceiling.
“I was reassured by House Republicans’ decision last week to back off their reckless threat to hold the debt ceiling hostage,” said Reid. “A clean debt ceiling increase that allows the United States to meet its existing obligations should be the standard.”
President Barack Obama has said he will sign the bill.