Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that lawmakers had reached a deal to extend the federal debt ceiling through December and that a vote on the measure could take place within hours.
“We have reached an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December and it’s our hope that we can get this done as soon as today,” Schumer said.
News of the deal comes as Republicans threatened to filibuster a provision that would raise the debt ceiling, a move that would cut off the federal government's ability to pay outstanding debts.
The move would have forced Democratic lawmakers and the White House to proceed with raising the debt ceiling through budget reconciliation — an unprecedented and time-consuming process that could spook markets as the deadline to raise the debt ceiling grew closer.
Top economic officials, like former Fed chair and current Treasury Secretary, have been warning for weeks that the failure to raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 18 could be catastrophic.
“At that point, we expect Treasury would be left with very limited resources that would be depleted quickly. It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date,” Yellen wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month.
President Joe Biden criticized Republicans Monday for threatening to delay action.
“If you don’t want to help save the country, get out of the way, so you don’t destroy it,” said Biden during remarks delivered Monday. “We don’t have time to delay with elaborate procedural schemes, which Republican proposals require, scores of votes without any certainty at all, many of which have nothing to do with the debt limit at all.”