Senate's top Republican offers extension on US debt ceiling into December

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Top US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell on Wednesday (Oct 6) said his party would support an extension of the federal debt ceiling into December, a move that would head off a historic default with a heavy economic toll.

That could provide an off-ramp to a months-long standoff between President Joe Biden’s Democrats and McConnell’s Republicans, who were expected to block on Wednesday a third attempt by Senate Democrats to raise the US$28.4 trillion (S$38 trillion) debt ceiling.

“To protect the American people from a near-term Democrat-created crisis, we will also allow Democrats to use normal procedures to pass an emergency debt limit extension at a fixed dollar amount to cover current spending levels into December,” McConnell said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Wednesday afternoon procedural vote is intended to allow the Senate to begin debating a Bill that would suspend the debt limit until December 2022, after elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.

That passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last week but Republicans have stalled it in the Senate with the filibuster.

Without a quick resolution, some government services might be suspended, such as delivering Social Security benefit cheques.

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