By Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives gave final approval on Tuesday for legislation that temporarily raises the government’s debt ceiling to $28.9 trillion, pushing the deadline to one. default only until December.
Democrats maintained party discipline to pass the $480 billion debt limit increase by 219 to 206 votes.
President Joe Biden is expected to enact the law before Oct. 18, a date by which the Treasury Department said he would no longer be able to pay the country’s debts if there was no action in Congress.
The approval in the House dispelled concerns that the US would default for the first time, but the temporary extension opened the way for more disputes between the parties.
“We temporarily averted the crisis before next week’s deadline, but in December members of Congress will have to choose to put the country ahead of the party and avoid defaulting,” said Democrat Richard Neal.
Republicans insist that Democrats must take full responsibility for raising the debt limit because their party wants to spend trillions of dollars to expand social programs and address climate change.
Democrats say the increased lending authority is needed to cover tax cuts and spending programs under former President Donald Trump, a move that Republicans in Congress have supported.
(Additional reporting by David Morgan)
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