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U.S. Senate Is Doing Away with Filibuster When It Comes to Vote for Raising Debt Ceiling

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Remember that deal that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made in October, allowing Democrats to raise the debt ceiling? Well, it's that time of year again for these so-called deals. On Thursday night, the Senate voted 59-34 to pass legislation that would do away with the filibuster, specifically when it comes to raising the debt ceiling.


Republicans voting in favor included Sens. John Barrasso (WY), Roy Blunt (MO), Richard Burr (NC), Shelley Moore Capito (WY), Susan Collins (ME), John Cornyn (TX), Joni Ernst (IA), Mitch McConnell (KY), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Rob Portman (OH), Mitt Romney (UT), John Thune (SD), Thom Tillis (NC), and Roger Wicker (MS).

Predictably, this led to a suggestion that the filibuster be nuked in other instances.

The House had previously passed such legislation earlier in the week and the bill is now headed to President Joe Biden's desk for him to sign into law. The actual vote on raising the debt ceiling comes next week, with lots of votes to be had before Christmas.


As Jordain Carney explained for The Hill about the deal:

Democrats are expected to pass the debt ceiling bill before Dec. 15, when Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told Congress they need to act in order to keep the government solvent. 

Under the agreement struck by Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and passed on Thursday, the Senate will need to have up to 10 hours of debate before they can pass legislation to increase the debt ceiling. 

Democrats will need to pass the debt ceiling hike on their own, with no Republicans expected to support the legislation next week.


Congress initially passed a short-term debt ceiling hike in early October after a months-long bitter fight between McConnell and Schumer. And McConnell vowed in a letter to Biden sent a day after the October vote that “I will not provide such assistance again if your all-Democrat government drifts into another avoidable crisis.”

But the two took a markedly different tone heading into the December debt ceiling fight. 

Sources told The Hill shortly before Christmas that the two leaders were holding talks and they soon held a rare in-person meeting in Schumer’s office.

Schumer and McConnell kept a tight lid on their negotiations, with even close McConnell allies and members of his leadership team telling The Hill that they had little insight into the talks. 


While Carney also wrote that "Thursday’s vote largely brings the debt ceiling drama to an end," that may not be the case. 

Former President Donald Trump, who has called out McConnell as an "Old Crow" multiple times and expressed disappointment about his deal before, is likely to chime in again some point soon.


Trump released a statement on Wednesday as well. His statement in part claimed that "The Dems would have folded completely if Mitch properly played his hand, and if not, the Debt Ceiling scenario would be far less destructive than the Bill that will get passed. He has all the cards to win, but not the 'guts' to play them. Instead, he gives our Country away, just like he did with the two Senate seats in Georgia, and the Presidency itself. The Old Crow is a disaster." 

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